Minimally Invasive Techniques
The most common surgical approach to the heart is the midline sternotomy, i.e. the division of the sternal bone and the retraction of the thoracic cage.
The advancement of surgical techniques has allowed for the introduction of ever smaller surgical accesses to the heart, in order to minimise trauma for the patient.
The most commonly used minimally invasive accesses are the superior partial sternotomy, the mini-thoracotomy, and the periareolar or axillary mini-thoracotomy access. Each of them finds its application in the treatment of a specific cardiac pathology, be it myocardial revascularisation, valvular pathology, or even the use of ventricular circulatory assist systems.
The minimally invasive approach is not only a reduction of the surgical incision, but an entire surgical system based on tissue-friendly techniques, blood recovery and reduction of operation time; this approach has proven effective, therefore, not only in reducing surgical trauma and thus post-operative pain and possible infectious complications, but also in reducing co-morbidities, such as bleeding and the possible need for blood transfusions, reduction of intensive care unit stay and hospital stay as a whole, as well as being associated with a reduced need for post-operative rehabilitation, early return home and to daily activities.
All this contributes to improving the patient’s prognosis.
For this reason, this operating philosophy has been chosen by our Centre for more than two decades.