Journal 7, July 2003pages: 482-484
Background: After the introduction of endoscopic techniques to other surgical fields, like general surgery, gynecology and thoracic surgery, cardiac surgeons sought their own methods of using minimally invasive techniques.
Objectives: To examine whether this approach is less invasive and yields better results, more desirable cosmetic results, and a more rapid and complete rehabilitation, maintaining safety, efficacy, and outcome equivalent to those of more established procedures, such as median sternotomy.
Methods: From January 2000 to July 2001, 22 patients underwent video-assisted port-access mitral or aortic valve repair or replacement with the Heartport system in our department, and one underwent closure of atrial septal defect.
Results: Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography revealed excellent functional results. Total operating room time, perfusion time, and cross-clamp time in this technique decreased with our growing experience, and remains stable. There were no intraoperative reversals to mid-steronomy, no mortalities, and only one complication 24 hours after surgery.
Conclusions: Thoracoscopic assisted cardiac surgery (via port access) provides all the advantages of minimally invasive surgery, accelerates recovery, decreases pain, and maintains overall surgical efficacy, while avoiding the complications and pathology of mid-sternotomy. For appropriate patients, this is the method of choice in our department.