Skip to main content
An Update on Prevea’s Western Wisconsin Operation
Heart Care

Minimally invasive heart valve surgery may be an option for patients who are considering an aortic or mitral valve repair or replacement.

Compared to the traditional open heart procedure (6 -8 inch incision), minimally invasive surgery is performed through a small incision (2-4 inch incision) placed in the upper part of the chest. Besides the smaller incision, true minimally invasive valve surgery has many advantages:

  • The breastbone/sternum is not affected - because the approach avoids the breastbone altogether with a small incision between the ribs.
  • Small incision – Resulting in small scars.
  • Lower risk of blood loss and blood transfusion – The chest wall is not opened, there is less blood that comes from the chest, causing less trauma to the body.
  • Lower risk of infection – Due to smaller incision and because the breastbone is not affected.
  • Less pain – Due to a smaller incision and less trauma to the chest.
  • Shorter hospital stays – National studies have shown that patients stay in the hospital for less time after minimally invasive heart valve surgery.
  • Shorter recovery time and return to mobility and daily activities of living – This approach does not involve cutting the ribs or the breast bone.

Less pain and shorter recovery time is a benefit for everyone. Factors including age, health history, type and severity of valve problem and overall health will factor into whether or not you are a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery. Talk to your heart surgeon if you have questions about minimally invasive heart valve surgery.