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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 May;67(5):1328-32; discussion 1333.

Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery: the subxiphoid approach.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Guven Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.



This report describes mitral valve replacement using a unique subxiphoid approach with a lower ministernotomy and a skin crease incision and compares the operative and echocardiographic results to patients undergoing mitral valve replacements using previously described strategies.


Fifty-four patients underwent mitral valve replacement using a subxiphoid approach (group 1); 32 patients underwent mitral valve replacement, 11 patients underwent mitral valve replacement + tricuspid reconstruction, 2 patients underwent mitral valve replacement + tricuspid valve replacement, and 9 patients underwent mitral reconstruction. This group of patients was compared to 11 patients who underwent mitral valve replacement through a superior ministernotomy (group 2) and 29 patients who underwent mitral valve replacement with full median sternotomy (group 3, 22 mitral valve replacements, 2 mitral valve replacements + tricuspid reconstruction, 2 mitral reconstructions, and 3 mitral reconstructions + tricuspid reconstruction).


There was no operative mortality in all groups. The operation lasted significantly longer in group 2 patients compared to group 1 and 3 patients (p < 0.01). Postoperative mediastinal drainage was significantly lower in groups 1 and 2 (p < 0.001). Pain assessment revealed no difference between the groups. Three patients in group 1 presented with pericardial effusion. Except for this complication, early postoperative echocardiographic findings of the patients were similar in all three groups. All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class I or II at the second postoperative month, irrespective of the surgical technique used.


There was no prominent superiority of the ministernotomy approaches over the standard median sternotomy approach. However, the reliability of the subxiphoid approach is documented echocardiographically and any type of mitral replacement can be performed with this approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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