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Minimally Invasive Valve Repair and Replacement

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When an aortic valve becomes diseased or dysfunctions surgical repair or replacement may be the best solution. Innovations in medical care allow for patients requiring cardiac surgery to choose minimally invasive options that are less traumatic for the body and have a number of other benefits. There are a series of minimally invasive valve repair and replacement techniques available and your thoracic surgeon will advise what your best options might be. Some possibilities may include: mini-sternotomy, mini-thoracotomy or port access incision procedures. The cardiothoracic surgeons at Cardiac Surgery Associates of Tampa specialize in minimally invasive techniques to repair or replace atrial valves. A separate technique called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is employed to replace the aortic valve, read more about it here.


A mini-sternotomy is similar to a standard sternotomy in that the breastbone or sternum is cut, however the incision and the amount of bone cut is reduced by almost a third in the mini-sternotomy. This minimizes the scar visible, the amount of blood loss and the risk of infection. Patient recovering from a mini-sternotomy may experience less postoperative pain and be active sooner than those who undergo a standard sternotomy.

Minimally Invasive Valve Repair or Replacement

If a mitral valve or a tricuspid valve is damaged or misshapen minimally invasive valve repair surgery may be a suitable procedure. In valve repair surgery, a cardiothoracic surgeon will trim, shape or rebuild the damaged cusps of the valve. Tricuspid and mitral valves can be damaged from birth or damage can be acquired as a part of the aging process, after years of atherosclerosis or overall poor health.

If the damage to the valve minimally invasive valve replacement may be a more acceptable solution. Replacement valves come in two types, mechanical and biological. Mechanical valves have a long lifespan but will require patients to take anticoagulant medication daily after surgery to prevent clots from forming around or on the new valve. These valves are usually made from titanium and carbon. Biological valves have a much shorter lifespan, about 10 to 12 years. These valves typically come from human, pig or cow donors and do not require anticoagulant therapy. Your surgeon can make the best valve recommendation for you based on your circumstances.

If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive valve repair or replacement surgery, please contact us online or by phone at 813.910.0027.