Minimally invasive cardiology procedures involve the use of small incisions in the right side of the chest so as to reach the heart between the ribs as opposed to cutting through the breastbone like it’s done during an open–heart surgery.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Cardiac surgery
- Lower risk of infection
- Minimal pain
- Shorter recovery time
- Smaller incisions involved
- Shorter hospital stays
Cardiology Procedures that Can Use Minimally Invasive Approaches
Aortic valve replacement
This is a surgical procedure that involves replacing a poorly working aortic valve with an artificial valve. Aortic valve is one of the heart’s 4 valves which aid in blood flow through the heart and out of the body. This procedure will ensure that the patient’s blood can exit the heart and flow out to the rest of the body normally.
Atrial Septal Defect
A septal defect is a condition whereby a child is born with a hole in the wall that separates the heart’s 4 chambers. Transcatheter correction and open cardiac surgery are the most often used procedures for a septal defect. Most children require one surgery to fix a septal abnormality. The child can live with the patch for a lifetime.
Mitral Valve Replacement
An open mitral replacement is a procedure used to insert an artificial valve into a mitral valve that is not functioning properly. The mitral valve helps blood flow through the heart and out of the body. The surgeon replaces the patient’s poorly working mitral valve with an artificial valve that will ensure that blood can flow into the left ventricle and flow out to the body normally, without straining the heart.
The procedure is known as “open” because the heart is exposed using a more conventionally big incision to minimally invasive mitral valve replacement surgery.
Patent Foramen Ovale Closure
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is a small opening that exists between the right and left atriums, which are the upper chambers of the heart. Patent foramen transcatheter repair is a minimally invasive procedure used by cardiothoracic surgeons to repair this hole in the heart.
During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a device that can plug up the PFO. The device is attached to a catheter, which is a long flexible tube. The catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin and guided to the PFO. Then the surgeon will use the device to repair the hole and then removes the catheter from the body.
Surgical Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation
This is a procedure used to treat atrial fibrillation. It uses minor burns or freezes to produce some scarring on the inside of the heart. This may help maintain a normal heart rhythm.
During the procedure, the doctor inserts a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin and moves it up to the heart. This will give access to the inside of the heart. The doctor then uses the catheters to make tiny burns or freezes to scar a little portion of the heart. The scarring aids in preventing the heart from conducting abnormal electrical signals that cause fibrillation.
Tricuspid Valve Repair
This procedure can be carried out through open heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery, or a catheter-based technique. The procedure will normally involve patching holes in the valve flaps, reconnecting valve flaps, changing the valve’s support wires to restore the structural support, separating the flaps that have fused, and finally reinforcing the ring around the valve.
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