What is it?

If the aortic valve or any other heart valve is not functioning properly, blood will not flow through the heart correctly. This puts extra strain on the heart and can cause breathlessness, swollen ankles and other symptoms, and it can cause the heart to pump less efficiently. Heart valve replacement and repair surgery can stop or improve symptoms, and may prevent permanent damage to the heart. Repair means that the valve is mended to help it work better. Replacement means that a diseased valve is removed and a new valve is inserted in its place. Whether a valve will be repaired or replaced can only be determined once surgery has begun.

Minimally Invasive Repair/Replacement

Standard open-heart surgery typically requires exposure of the heart and its vessels through median sternotomy (dividing the breastbone), which requires a 10- to 12-inch incision and is considered one of the most invasive and traumatic aspects of open-heart surgery.

The Mount Sinai Heart Institute offers an advanced surgical technique for minimally invasive cardiac repair and replacement. The procedure is done through a two-inch incision between the ribs on the side of the chest. This approach provides much more stability to the chest wall and is more beneficial to the patient. There also is minimal scarring with this technique, and patients generally stay in the hospital for four days, as opposed to two weeks of recovery for open-heart surgery.

In addition, with minimally invasive valve repair or replacement surgery, patients experience:

  • Reduced pain and trauma
  • Less blood loss
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Quicker recuperation
  • More rapid return to normal lifestyle
  • Significantly reduced risk factors in future operations

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery Procedures

  • Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
  • Aortic Valve Repair Surgery
  • Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery
  • Aortic Root Enlargening Procedures
  • Tricuspid Valve Repair
  • Double Valve Surgery
  • Redo Valvular Surgery
  • MAZE procedure
  • Repair of atrial septal defects (primum and secundum)
  • Resection of atrial tumors (myxoma)

Cardiothoracic Surgical Procedures