Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

What is minimally invasive cardiac surgery?

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is a surgical technique that involves operating on the heart through small incisions made on the right side of the chest. This technique barely damages the tissues surrounding the heart and achieves good results. It is the result of medical progress in non-invasive surgery, presenting itself as the main alternative to open heart surgery. As in open heart surgery, sometimes the patient can be connected to a heart-lung machine.

There are three types:

  • Robot-assisted cardiac surgery
  • Thoracoscopic surgery
  • Chest incision surgery

Why is minimally invasive cardiac surgery performed?

This surgery is performed in order not to damage the structures and tissues surrounding the myocardium. Some cardiac conditions for which minimally invasive surgery may be used include the following:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Saphenous vein harvesting for coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Atrioventricular septal defect surgery
  • Maze procedure: atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial septal defect closure
  • Closure of patent foramen ovale
  • Aortic valve, mitral valve and tricuspid valve replacement
  • Mitral valve and tricuspid valve repair

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery achieves good results along with a less painful and shorter postoperative period.

What is minimally invasive cardiac surgery?

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is a technique that hardly harms the tissues and the muscular and bony structures surrounding the heart, achieving good results with a simpler and less painful postoperative period.

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At the time of the intervention, the surgeon makes small incisions on the right side of the chest. In the procedure, the specialist does not cut through the sternum, but operates through the ribs.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery achieves great results while offering a less painful postoperative period and faster recovery.

Preparing for minimally invasive cardiac surgery

In order to prepare for the operation, the patient should visit several times with his or her physician, who will explain what the operation consists of, as well as what the patient can expect once it is completed.

The patient will have to undergo a blood test and an anesthesia study before the operation. The area of the body where the incision will be made may need to be shaved.

Care after invasive heart surgery

Normally, the patient will spend about 24 hours in the Intensive Care Unit. After staying in the ICU for one day, the patient will be transferred to a “normal” room where he/she will remain for several days under observation.

The medical team will monitor blood pressure, heart rate, respiration… Gradually, the patient will start walking and begin gradually increasing activities.

Alternatives to minimally invasive surgery

In itself, minimally invasive cardiac surgery is an alternative to heart surgery, which was traditionally open heart surgery and required a much higher level of aggression and invasion on the heart structures. In this case, minimally invasive surgery offers great results with less pain, an easier and shorter postoperative period.