What is it?

Standard heart surgery typically requires exposure of the heart and its vessels through median sternotomy (dividing the breastbone), considered one of the most invasive and traumatic aspects of open-chest surgery. A minimally invasive approach allows access to the heart through small incisions and without stopping the heart, without separating the breastbone (sternum) and ribcage, and without requiring a heart-lung machine to be used.


  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal function.


After minimally invasive valve surgery, the patient receives continued cardiac monitoring in the intensive care unit. Once the patient is able to breathe on his/her own, the breathing tube is removed. Any medications to treat poor cardiac function or manage blood pressure are discontinued as cardiac function improves and blood pressure stabilizes.

Blood drainage tubes protruding from the chest cavity are removed once internal bleeding decreases. The patient also may be equipped with an external cardiac pacing system to maintain the heart rate. The pacing is terminated once the heart is beating at an adequate rate free of arrhythmia. A warming blanket may be used to warm the patient’s core temperature decreased by the surgical exposure.

The duration of the post-operative hospital stay is reduced by one to two days in these procedures. Pain also should be reduced. Homecare for the wound is described prior to discharge, and instructions for responding to adverse events after discharge also are provided. Patients who have undergone these procedures should expect to return to normal activities sooner than those who have undergone traditional coronary artery bypass grafting.

Find out about the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery In COPD Patients.

Find out about how Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery Benefits High Risk Elderly Patients.

Find out about Mount Sinai’s participation in the Medtronic CoreValve U.S. Clinical Trial for Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis for Non-surgical Aortic Valve Replacement.

Cardiothoracic Surgical Procedures