Aortic valve replacement through right minithoracotomy in 306 consecutive patients.
OBJECTIVE: To define the role and early results of aortic valve surgery through a right minithoracotomy. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on 306 consecutive patients undergoing aortic valve replacement through an 8-cm right minithoracotomy in the second intercostal space. The initial experience was included. The right second and third ribs were detached from the sternum in most cases and repaired at the end of each case. Most operations were performed using anterograde and retrograde cardioplegic arrest with percutaneous femoral venous cannulation and direct aortic cannulation through the incision. Standard instruments were used with direct digital knot tying. RESULTS: Mean age was 65 ± 14 (range, 20-90) years. Aortic valve disease cause was calcific disease in 160 of 306 (52%) patients, bicuspid disease in 95 of 306 (31%) patients, and endocarditis in 9 of 306 (3%) patients. Previous cardiac surgery was present in 13 of 306 (4%) patients. Biologic prostheses were used in 240 of 306 (78%) patients. Median valve size was 23 mm. Mean clamp times and pump times were 103 ± 26 and 158 ± 35 minutes, respectively. Median postoperative length of stay was 5 days. Thirty-day mortality was found in 4 of 306 (1%) cases. There were no deep wound infections or mediastinitis. Stroke occurred in 5 of 306 (1.6%) patients, and new pacemaker required in 11 of 306 (4%) patients. Reoperation for bleeding occurred in 2 of 306 (1%) patients. Conversion to median sternotomy occurred in 15 of 306 (5%) patients caused by chest wall anatomy (n = 7), bleeding (n = 3), coronary disease (n = 2), or aortic disease (n = 3). Patients were allowed to return to driving or preoperative activity in 2 weeks. With a mean follow-up of 2.8 ± 2.2 years, one patient required reoperation for aortic root disease. CONCLUSIONS: Right minithoracotomy is a safe but limited alternative to sternotomy in isolated aortic valve replacement. This approach may be particularly valuable in some higher risk, elderly patients and opens options for a hybrid approach combined with percutaneous coronary angioplasty.
Glower, DD; Lee, T; Desai, B
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