Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
In minimally invasive heart surgery, heart (cardiac) surgeons perform heart surgery through small incisions in the right side of your chest, as an alternative to open-heart surgery.
Surgeons don't cut through the breastbone (sternotomy). Rather, they operate between the ribs, which may result in less pain and a quicker recovery for many people.
In minimally invasive surgery, your heart surgeon may have a better view of some parts of your heart than in open-heart surgery. Similar to open surgery, some minimally invasive heart surgery procedures may require stopping your heart temporarily and diverting blood flow from your heart using a heart-lung bypass machine.
Minimally invasive heart surgery may be performed to treat a variety of heart conditions.
Minimally invasive surgery can involve risks similar to open-heart surgery, such as:
- Wound infection
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias
How you prepare
Before minimally invasive heart surgery, your doctor and treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after the surgery and potential risks of the surgery.
Your doctor and team will discuss concerns you may have about your minimally invasive heart surgery. Your doctor or another member of your treatment team may discuss with you advance directives or other information to consider prior to your surgery.
You may need to have your hair shaved off at the locations of your body where the procedure will take place.
Before being admitted to the hospital for your surgery, talk to your family about your hospital stay and discuss help you may need when you return home. Your doctor and treatment team may give you specific instructions to follow during your recovery when you return home.
Food and medications
Talk to your doctor about:
- When you can take your regular medications and whether you can take them before your surgery
- When you should stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery
Clothing and personal items
Your treatment team may recommend that you bring several items to the hospital, including:
- A list of your medications
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures
- Personal care items, such as a brush, comb, shaving equipment and toothbrush
- Loosefitting, comfortable clothing
- A copy of your advance directive
- Items that may help you relax, such as a portable music player or books
During surgery, avoid wearing:
- Contact lenses
- Nail polish