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Re: Questions about the minimally invasive procedure

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD-APS on April 09, 1999 at 17:17:50:

In Reply to: Questions about the minimally invasive procedure posted by Michael L. on April 07, 1999 at 18:36:45:

I need valve replacment surgery and was told that I am a candidate for the minimally invasive procedure. Can anyone tell me the major differences between it and the standard open heart operation? Also, what risks are invovled with the minimally inv. surgery? How much shorter is the recovery time? And has anyone had any problems after the surgery? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Michael,
Minimally invasive is a smaller incision, sometimes not involving cutting through the breastbone (sternum) in order to get to the heart.  It was designed to minimize scar (cosmetic), as well as shorten recovery time (smaller incision means shorter healing time basically.)  In general, the minimally invasive patient should be out of the hospital in 4-5days and the full recovery takes 4 weeks not the usual 6weeks with the standard approach.  These statistics of course vary from surgeon to surgeon and institution to institution.  As for "problems" after the surgery which I call "complications", they are less frequent for those surgeons who have the most experience.  In the end, it is the patient who makes the decision once his/her surgical team tells him/her what the statistics are for each of the approaches for that particular surgery in that particular patient.
I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.

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