Cardiovascular Surgery
Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute

Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery

Illustration of cardiac surgery
Minimally invasive heart valve surgery is most commonly distinguished by incision size and location. This image illustrates two "mini" incisions and locations that are commonly used today in accessing the heart for valve surgery.

Increasingly, heart valve procedures are being performed using minimally invasive techniques-potentially reducing pain, scarring, and recovery time.

Valve replacement and repair surgeries have been performed safely and effectively for years. Recent advances in technologies and procedural techniques have given surgeons and patients new options beyond full, open-chest heart valve surgery. Increasingly, more cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, referring physicians and their patients are embracing minimally invasive techniques for heart valve surgery.

Minimally invasive heart valve replacement or repair surgery offers many potential benefits over traditional heart valve surgery. These may include:

  • Improved cosmetic results due to smaller incisions
  • Reduced healing time
  • Less pain
  • Earlier discharge from the hospital
  • Quicker return to regular activities

Our surgeons take into account each patient's specific disease, indication and condition, as well as required exposure, when considering incision size and location. They balance these factors to determine the most appropriate incision for each patient. Use of these techniques means that many of our patients leave the hospital within four days of their operation and return to work within two or three weeks.