Recently, a minimally invasive approach for mitral valve repair has been developed centered upon accessing the valve through much smaller incisions without cutting the breastbone. Mitral valve repair can be performed through 4 small incisions (sized 4-5 cm.) on the right side of the chest. These minimally invasive operation is performed with the use of specialized hand-held instruments and camera that clearly visualizes the damaged valve on the monitor with high-definition.
While performing the procedure to repair the damaged valve, the vessel in the groin is connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine (heart-lung machine) which is temporarily used to take over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery, maintaining the circulation of blood and the oxygen content of the patient’s body. This procedure usually takes 3-4 hours. Due to smaller incisions, superior benefits over open heart surgery include less blood loss and reduced chance of wound infections. Without breastbone cut, patients have a quicker recovery with shorter hospital stay which enables the patients to quickly return to their lives. Although it is an effective treatment to repair diseased valves, mitral valve repair should be performed by well-trained and highly experienced cardiothoracic surgeons in order to ensure the maximum level of safety and the best possible treatment outcomes.
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