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Aortic Valve Replacement: Minimally Invasive Surgery

Topic Overview

Aortic valve replacement is usually an open-heart surgery. But minimally invasive surgery may be an option for some people.

In open-heart surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the chest and then spreads the ribs to expose the heart. In minimally invasive heart surgery, the surgeon makes a smaller incision in the chest. The aortic valve is located near the front of the chest. The ribs don't have to be spread.

The way the valve is replaced is the same as in open-heart valve surgery.

There is a procedure that replaces the valve through a blood vessel. It's called transcatheter aortic valve replacement. This method might be done for a person who can't have surgery or who has a high risk of serious problems from surgery.

What are the possible benefits of less invasive surgery?

This surgery may have benefits over regular surgery. These include:

  • A smaller scar.
  • Less blood loss during surgery.
  • Less pain and a shorter hospital stay.
  • Lower risk of infection.

Should you consider this type of surgery?

Whether this type of valve surgery is right for you depends on a lot of things, including your health and your personal feelings.

You will likely talk with your doctor about the potential benefits and risks for you. Your personal feelings are important. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and talk about it with your doctor.


Other Works Consulted

  • Nishimura RA, et al. (2014). 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation, published online March 3, 2014. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000031. Accessed May 1, 2014.
  • Nishimura RA, et al. (2017). 2017 AHA/ACC focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease. Circulation, published online March 15, 2017. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000503. Accessed March 15, 2017.
  • Rosengart TK, et al. (2008). Percutaneous and minimally invasive valve procedures. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, Council on Clinical Cardiology, Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Interdisciplinary Working Group, and Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group. Circulation, 117(13): 1750-1767.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMichael P. Pignone, MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017

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