Advances in Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Joseba Zuazo Meabe, Top Doctors cardiac surgeon, will talk to us about cardiac surgery.

What new techniques have been developed in recent years in cardiac surgery?

First of all, I would mention coronary surgery without the use of extracorporeal circulation, which has significantly reduced the complications inherent in coronary surgery, but above all, I would focus on two essential aspects that have been truly exceptional advances: One is those related to thoracic aortic surgery, which has always been one of the great challenges for cardiovascular surgeons, and in recent times we have the option of working with endovascular interventional procedures, resolving aneurysms more simply, more efficiently and with much less risk in thoracic aortic aneurysms. And also in recent years, less than 10 years ago, we have the possibility of implanting prostheses without the use of extracorporeal circulation and without making a sternotomy and making minimal incisions or even percutaneously, without making any incisions in the aortic valve in particular. This is very important because it happens that aortic vascular stenosis is the most frequent pathology that cardiovascular surgeons see today. So this is of transcendental importance and for the future, other technologies are already being developed to be able to solve problems in the mitral valve, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and this is a constant nonstop.

What does minimally invasive surgery consist of and in which cases can it be applied?

The aim of minimally invasive surgery is to reduce the external aggression to patients as much as possible in order to be able to operate on them. Based on making small holes, small ports in certain well localized sites of the skin to be able to reach the organ in question through them and to be able to make the necessary corrections. In the specific case of cardiac surgery, this is particularly useful in mitral valve pathologies and in some congenital pathologies, for example intra-atrial communication, pathologies that are located either in the mitral valve or in the right side of the heart, preferably in the right atrium. On this basis, postoperative procedures are much simpler, much shorter, with much less pain and with a better final result.

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What advantages does it offer over traditional surgery?

In principle, it is a surgery that reduces the incisions to the maximum and therefore makes possible a much simpler, much less painful and naturally, much shorter postoperative period.