Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Replacement (MIMVS) is an emerging approach to replacing damaged or leaky mitral valves, boasting shorter recovery time, less pain, and fewer complications compared with open chest surgery.
This type of procedure typically utilizes a catheter to deliver surgical tools directly into your heart, and may also employ MitraClip(tm) devices to repair leaky valves.
What is a minimally invasive procedure?
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) refers to any surgical technique which reduces the size and number of cuts (incisions) your surgeon must make during an operation, thus decreasing its risks and speeding recovery time. It may also save money over traditional open surgery approaches.
Small incisions may also be more appropriate for people suffering from pain and/or who are prone to bleeding and other complications from larger cuts, as well as elderly individuals who may prefer smaller incisions for comfort reasons.
Your doctor may suggest minimally invasive valve surgery if either of your aortic or mitral valves isn’t functioning as it should, leading to symptoms like shortness of breath or heart failure. Minimally invasive surgery is also often recommended as an effective option for children or adults who don’t qualify as ideal candidates for open heart surgery due to severe coronary artery disease or aortic stenosis, among other issues.
Before your minimally invasive surgery, your surgeon will discuss and provide instructions regarding its preparation. You may require tests like an echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization or CT scan as necessary.
Your surgeon will make a 4- to 6-centimeter incision along one rib on one side and insert an endoscope, an instrument with a camera on its end, through these incisions to view and repair/replace your mitral valve.
Your surgeon will use small surgical tools to repair or replace your mitral valve and tighten or reinforce its annulus ring during this procedure.
Laparoscopy, another minimally invasive surgery procedure, uses flexible tubes with lights and cameras inserted through small incisions to look at organs inside your abdomen and diagnose or treat abdominal issues.
Additional forms of minimally invasive surgery include robotic surgery, which uses a special robotic arm. It allows surgeons to perform similar movements as in open heart surgery while decreasing pain and recovery times; however, there can be risks involved with such methods; additionally, more skill is necessary on behalf of surgeons when performing this kind of surgery.
What happens during a minimally invasive procedure?
A surgeon makes a small incision at the site to be treated, inserting an endoscopic camera (called a scope ) through it into their incision to see what they’re doing and use tiny surgical instruments as needed to treat any problems that arise.
Your doctor will discuss all of the minimally invasive procedures available and help you choose one. Once chosen, either general or regional anesthesia will be administered.
Before surgery, a series of tests will be run to ascertain the source of your heart valve problems. You may require an echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, CT (CAT) scan of your heart or even spirometry tests in order to assess breathing issues.
Your surgeon will make one or more small cuts near the sternum (breastbone), using special instruments to repair or replace your mitral valve. General anesthesia will be administered, meaning you’ll sleep through this procedure.
Surgery typically lasts up to an hour and a half, depending on its complexity. After your operation has taken place, you’ll go directly to a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) where you will be monitored for at least 24 hours after being released from surgery; from there you’ll be transferred into another part of the hospital for recovery purposes.
After your minimally invasive mitral valve replacement procedure, it is recommended that you stay at the hospital for a few days for recovery and will receive painkillers and antibiotics as necessary. In general, patients can return home within about a week.
Many patients who undergo minimally invasive surgeries experience faster recoveries than with traditional surgeries due to faster wound healing times and decreased infection risks.
Minimally invasive surgery has quickly become the standard in operating rooms around the world due to its numerous advantages, and is increasingly used by both doctors and patients alike.
Laparoscopy is one of the most frequently performed minimally invasive surgeries, involving making an extremely small incision and using a special tube equipped with lights and cameras to view organs or tissues without cutting into them directly.
What happens after a minimally invasive procedure?
If your mitral valve has become damaged, minimally invasive repair or replacement could be an option for you. Your surgeon will extract and replace your damaged mitral valve with either a biological or mechanical heart valve – depending on which procedure works better for you.
Your valve controls the flow of blood between your left atrium and ventricles, and is essential for healthy heart function and survival. Issues with this valve can result in abnormally high pressure within the left atrium causing shortness of breath and chest pain as well as forcing your heart to work harder, eventually leading to heart failure.
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), performed as outpatient procedures, may be an effective means of correcting these problems. With minimally invasive heart surgeries often being less invasive than traditional surgeries and recovery times being significantly decreased, minimally Invasive Heart Surgery may offer relief and correction.
Comparing minimally invasive surgery (MIS) to open surgery can also help lower the risk of infection and other postoperative complications, due to using small incisions that heal faster and are less likely to become infected than larger incisions.
This alternative to traditional procedures may be more suitable for elderly or sick patients who cannot tolerate the extended recovery times associated with traditional surgeries. Furthermore, it could benefit patients who have trouble walking due to other health conditions like diabetes.
After your minimally invasive mitral valve repair or replacement surgery, depending on its complexity you may require several days in hospital followed by outpatient rehabilitation to regain strength and endurance.
Your doctor will provide instructions for caring for incision sites and explaining all risks involved with minimally invasive procedures, and provide information on how to monitor recovery as well as prevent or treat complications.
After your minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, you must take several weeks off work in order to recuperate properly from it. Be sure to eat well, rest, drink plenty of fluids and wear elastic stockings or compression devices on your legs so blood is flowing as expected and ensure optimal recovery. Furthermore, remember to attend all follow-up appointments so your doctor can track your progress and monitor how your recovery is progressing.
What are the risks of a minimally invasive procedure?
Minimally invasive surgery offers several advantages, yet can come with its own risks. Some risks associated with minimally invasive surgery are anesthesia complications, bleeding and infection; it is important to discuss this procedure with your doctor beforehand to assess its potential risk factors and decide on an optimal method.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques allow surgeons to perform procedures through small incisions, making the approach often more cost-effective and safer than open surgery. Examples of minimally invasive surgeries are laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries.
Minimally invasive techniques enable doctors to perform more precise and accurate surgeries. The procedures typically utilize cameras and instruments inserted through very small incisions for precise precision surgery.
VATS involves inserting a camera and surgical instruments through tiny incisions to diagnose and treat problems in the chest. Other minimally invasive procedures include endoscopic bronchoscopy, which uses thin tubes with lights and lenses to examine respiratory systems.
Minimally invasive surgery offers many advantages for patients looking for minimally invasive solutions, and is frequently preferred over larger incisions. Some benefits of minimally invasive techniques include reduced infections, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times.
Minimally invasive techniques offer another major advantage, as they don’t cause any harm to nearby bones, muscles or tissue. This enables patients to recover faster without incurring scarring that might accompany open surgery procedures.
These procedures can help diagnose and treat various health conditions, including lung cancer. They offer a safe and cost-effective alternative to more invasive open surgery procedures.
Other minimally invasive surgical procedures that fall within this category include uterine and ovarian cancer surgery as well as hernia repair, which offer various advantages including less pain, reduced postoperative complications, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times and lower costs.
If minimally invasive surgery is the right choice for you or a loved one, consult one of the team of doctors at RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. Our specialists are committed to providing exceptional patient care, and will suggest an individualized minimally invasive procedure for you or them.