Nationally recognized in their sub-specialties, the Cardiovascular Center's surgeons offer the most experienced team in the Mountain West in minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS). As the only medical center in Utah to offer MICS, our cardiothoracic program has built a successful and growing track record by employing innovative and less invasive surgical techniques. The experienced precision of our surgeons is backed up by the most advanced imaging technologies available.
To contact us, please select a surgeon from the provider list and use the contact number provided.
About Minimally Invasive Surgery
Is the pre-operative evaluation different with MICS?
In general, all patients being evaluated for cardiac surgery are thoroughly screened. First, we must make sure that the surgery is needed. Many patients avoid visiting a heart surgeon because they fear they will be hastily taken to the operating room. Our job, however, is not only to know when to operate, but also when not to operate. This requires experience and sound judgment in order to counsel our patients and their families well. We will be best prepared to deal with any situations that are specific to our patients.
How do you do the surgery through such small holes?
Evolving technology has allowed development of instruments and techniques such that many surgeries can be performed through the smaller incisions. Although many of the operations have additional challenges because of limited access, the fundamental concepts are similar to those performed in the open surgery manner.
What are the complications of MICS? How do they differ from traditional heart surgery?
Heart surgery, of any type, has inherent risks regardless of a particular approach. Commonly cited complications include infection, bleeding, stroke, electrical conduction problems, organ failure, arrhythmias, and death. Fortunately, these complications, even in the open operations are relatively rare.
Although many procedures can be performed without the use of the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, valvular operations require the use of the heart-lung machine. Typically, the access for this machine is through tubes placed in the groin artery and vein. Patients can experience numbness or drainage at the groin incision site. In addition, some patients will experience temporary numbness under their right breast at the site of the chest incision. As mentioned above, MICS typically carries lower complication rates because there is less risk of bleeding, earlier ambulation and return to activity, and less risk of infection.
Who is a candidate?
The majority of minimally invasive cardiac surgery is directed to patients with valvular heart disease including aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valve stenosis (narrowin) or regurgitation (leaking). In addition, minimally invasive cardiac surgery can be used for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, closure of atrial septal defects and patent foramen ovales, and certain patients requiring coronary artery bypass surgery.
Conditions treated with MICS
Minimally invasive heart surgery (MICS) provides a unique approach to many traditional cardiac surgery operations. At University of Utah Health, we perform the following operations using minimally-invasive techniques:
- Mitral valve repair or replacement
- Aortic valve repair or replacement
- Tricuspid valve repair or replacement
- Modified Maze procedure
- Atrial septal defect repairs
- Patent foramen ovale repairs
- Limited coronary artery bypass grafting
- Epicardial lead placement
David Bull, MD, is a member of the Thoracic Oncology Program, a joint effort between Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. The program was developed to offer consultation, diagnosis, and treatment for all chest cancers. Bull is a professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; progra... Read More
Dr. Burch performs repairs for a wide variety of congenital cardaic anomalies. In addition to clinical responsibilities, Dr. Burch has research interests in single ventricle physiology as well as in derangements in normal neonatal metabolism caused by cardiac surgery.... Read More
I joined the University of Utah, Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2012. I am board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. My clinical interests are focused on caring for all patients, from neonates to adults, with congenital heart defects. I have a special interest in pediatric heart... Read More
Dr. McKellar is a native of Salt Lake City and received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Utah and his Doctor of Medicine from the George Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his General Surgical and Cardiothoracic Surgical training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in a combined, integrated training program. ... Read More
Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Revascularization, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Lung Transplant, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Minimally Invasive Lung & Esophageal Surgery, Valvular Heart Disease
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Dr. Craig Selzman is a Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah who specializes in the care of patients requiring heart surgery. He earned his undergraduate degree at Amherst College and medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. He received his General and Cardiothoracic Surgery training... Read More
Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Revascularization, Heart Failure, Heart Stem Cell Therapy, Heart Transplant, Lung Transplant, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Surgical Ventricular Restoration, Valvular Heart Disease
Dr. Thomas Varghese Jr. is the Head of the Section of General Thoracic Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah. He is the Program Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency, Co-Director of the Thoracic Oncology Progam at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Unive... Read More
Cardiothoracic Surgery, Nurse Practitioner
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Scott came to the University almost 9 years ago from private practice. As a trainer and consultant for Endoscopic Vein harvesting, he has effectively introduced and incorporated new technology and procedures into the University healthcare system. As the senior physician assistant in the division of cardiothoracic surgery, Scott has 17 years experie... Read More