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What is minimally invasive cardiac surgery?

It is a well known fact that cardiac surgery has excellent long term benefits. However, a lot of morbidity in the post operative period is related to the midline sternotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass. Opening the chest by sternotomy is very traumatic and the most invasive aspect of cardiac surgery.

What are the surgical procedures?

With advancement in the field of minimal access surgery, it is now possible to do most of the cardiac operations using this technique. Cardiac surgeries can be performed through small thoracotomy incisions either on the right or left chest. This avoids the midline sternotomy and the morbidity ass ociated with it.

Surgical procedures are usually performed by specially designed long instruments. With the current technology, better visualization and high precision instruments, it is now possible to perform difficult operations such as coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair and aortic as well as mitral valve replacement.

Can all cardiac surgeries be performed using minimal access technique?

There is a lot of scepticism whether all cardiac surgeries can be performed using minimal access technique. We have performed almost all types of adult cardiac operations using `minimally invasive cardiac surgery` (MICS). The minimal invasive approach is not restricted to adult patients only but it has been used in a few pediatric cases also.

What are the advantages ?

The advantages of MICS include: small thoracotomy incision; less pain and less risk of infection; reduced ICU and hospital stay; improved post operative pulmonary function; early recovery; improved cosmetic results and quality of life.

Though the safety and feasibility of MICS has been demonstrated, yet the question remains regarding the relative efficiency of MICS over traditional sternotomy approach. Most of the recent published literature supports the view that a variety of MICS can be performed with high degree of safety and long term outcome equivalent which is even better than conventional cardiac surgeries.

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