Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through a small incision, often using specialized surgical instruments. The incision is about 2 to 4 inches over the left or right side of the chest wall instead of a traditional e 8-10 inches sternotomy (breast bone) incision required for heart surgery.

What are the benefits of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery?

The benefits of minimally invasive heart surgery include:

  • A smaller incision
  • A smaller scar
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less bleeding with minimally invasive heart surgery
  • Less pain and trauma
  • Decreased length of stay in hospital after the procedure: the average stay is 3 to 4 days after minimally invasive surgery, while the average stay after traditional heart surgery is 5 days
  • Decreased recovery time: the average recovery time after minimally invasive heart surgery is 2 to 3 weeks, while the average recovery time after traditional heart surgery is 8 to 12 weeks

What are the types of minimally invasive heart surgery?

  • Valve surgery (repair or replacement)
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
  • Surgical Ablation of Atrial fibrillation
  • Surgical Closure of atrial or ventricular septal defects
  • Surgical removal of cardiac tumours
  • Redo cardiac surgery

What do the words Port Access, Endoscopic or Keyhole Approaches mean?

For some surgical procedures, an endoscopic or “keyhole” approach may be performed. This approach may also be referred to as port access surgery or video-assisted surgery.

The port access surgery technique allows surgeons to use one to four small (5- 10 mm) incisions or “ports” in the chest wall between the ribs. An endoscope or thoracoscope (thin video instrument that has a small camera at the tip) and surgical instruments are placed through the incisions. The scope transmits a picture of the internal organs on a video monitor so the surgeon can get a closer view of the surgical area while performing the procedure. This ability to directly access the heart in a minimally invasive way- while it is stopped and protected as in conventional surgery – is a key feature of port access minimally invasive cardiac surgery.

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