The aortic valve separates your heart and the aorta (the largest artery in the body). When this valve opens, blood flows out of the heart and into the aorta.
If your aortic valve isn’t working well, your doctor might recommend surgery to replace it with an artificial valve. This procedure is called minimally invasive aortic valve replacement.
Aortic valve replacement surgery can help relieve pain, increase life expectancy and prevent death. However, it can also be uncomfortable and have long recovery periods.
Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement (MIAVR) can replace a damaged aortic valve without opening your chest. The surgery uses a catheter that runs from your leg and into the heart.
The procedure is less invasive than open-heart surgery, which can take 2-4 hours. Your doctor will discuss which type of surgery is right for you and explain how it works.
Your care team will connect you to machines that monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. They will drain fluids from your chest and provide oxygen to your body.
You may need to be in the hospital for several days following your minimally invasive heart surgery. The length of your stay depends on your overall health, the type of surgery you have and any complications.
After surgery, you’ll need to rest and stay hydrated. Your care team will encourage you to eat and drink as much as possible. They may also sign you up for cardiac rehabilitation, a program of exercise and education designed to improve your health and reduce the risk of future surgeries.
Less blood loss
Aortic valve surgery can help reduce blood loss, reducing your need for hospital stays. During the procedure, a surgeon removes your damaged aortic valve and replaces it with a new one made from cow, pig or human heart tissue (biological valve).
In a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement video, your doctor uses long-handled surgical tools inserted through smaller incisions to replace your faulty aortic valve. The procedure is less invasive than open-heart surgery, which takes up to 4 hours.
During the surgery, your heart is stopped and your blood pressure is monitored. You’ll also be hooked up to tubes that drain fluids and bile from your chest.
The procedure is safe, effective and improves your chances of living a longer and healthier life. You’ll need to make lifestyle changes to help keep your new aortic valve working well. Talk to your doctor about what these lifestyle changes will mean for you and your health.
Less risk for infection
Infection is one of the most common complications associated with aortic valve surgery. Luckily, less risk for infection can occur with minimally invasive aortic valve replacement.
Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is an alternative to conventional open-heart surgery for patients with severe aortic stenosis. It has been shown to reduce transfusions, ICU and hospital stays, postoperative pain, respiratory failure and wound infections compared to traditional median sternotomy.
However, less successful outcomes have also been reported with these procedures. Some of these include:
Surgical aortic leakage, blood loss and the risk of graft rupture.
Aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation and mitral valve disease are common heart conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive valve surgery. It can be performed in experienced hands and offers several benefits compared to traditional surgery, including:
Minimally invasive surgery can allow patients to go home earlier than with traditional open-heart surgery. This can make it easier to get back to normal activity and less stressful on your body.
During minimally invasive heart surgery, your doctor performs the procedure through a small incision. This allows for a faster recovery than with open-heart surgery, which requires a large incision through your breastbone to reach the heart.
Your health care provider will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing as you recover. They may place tubes to drain fluids from your body and chest.
In addition, your physician may recommend that you participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, which involves medically supervised exercise. This can help promote circulation, muscle strength and proper scar formation.
The aortic valve is very fragile, so it needs time to heal. If you return to work or other activities too soon after aortic valve replacement, you could set yourself back in your recovery.