Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

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Information On Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

There are generally two types of heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery and open heart or invasive heart surgery. The main difference between these two types of heart surgery is the size of the incision the surgeon makes during the surgery. During an invasive or open heart surgery, the surgeon makes a large incision to open up the chest cavity. The chest cavity is opened up by separating the ribcage and the sternum. For a minimally invasive heart surgery, this separation is not done. Also, a heart-lung machine is not used because the heart is not stopped.

There are a number of procedures that are classified as a minimally invasive heart surgery.

Inserting a pacemaker – A pacemaker is inserted to correct cardiac arrhythmias. This type of minimally invasive heart surgery is carried out under local anesthesia and is usually over in under an hour. An incision of about 3 inches in length is made under the collarbone. The device is inserted through this incision, with the help of a type of x-ray and attached to the heart. The incision is then closed and the device is then programed remotely with another device.

Mitral valve repair (MVR) – This minimally invasive heart surgery is performed to correct the narrowing of the mitral valve, otherwise referred to as stenosis or to correct the leakage or regurgitation of the valve. The minimally invasive version of this procedure is carried out through a keyhole heart surgery and tends to be riskier than open heart surgery and requires extreme surgical adeptness and dexterity from the surgeon.

Aortic valve repair (AVR) - This procedure is carried out to correct damage caused by aortic valve disease, correct aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. There are several types of surgical procedures carried out for aortic valve repair and they depend on cause of the damage. These procedures include patching, reshaping, decalcification, structural support repair, commisurotomy and valvuloplast.

Maze heart surgery- This unique form of minimally invasive heart surgery is performed to sort out atrial fibrillation. This surgery makes use of a technique called the catheter ablation technique. A total of three small incisions are made to reach the heart from both sides of the chest.

Coronary artery by-pass grafting (CABG) - This surgery is done in cases of coronary artery disease. It can be done invasively or through a minimally invasive heart surgery technique which is referred to as an off-pump surgery because the heart is not stopped from beating during surgery, and therefore a heart-lung machine is not required.

Tetralogy of fallot surgery- This pediatric minimally invasive heart surgery is carried out right after birth or soon after. It is done to correct any of the four abnormalities caused by malformation of the right ventricle’s outflow tract. The non-invasive surgery is called the Blalock-Taussig shunt. An incision is made between the ribs on the right side so that a shunt is put in to connect the pulmonary artery to the subclavian artery.

Atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD) closure- ASD is more commonly known as a hole in the heart. In ASD, the hole is in the wall separating the heart’s upper chambers, the atria. In VSD a hole or holes are in the wall separating the heart’s upper chambers, the ventricles.

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