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Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017 Feb 20;23(1):45-48. doi: 10.5761/atcs.nm.16-00248. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Efficacy of the Stonehenge Technique for Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement via Right Infraaxillary Thoracotomy.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Sakakibara Heart Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Minimally invasive cardiac surgeries for aortic valve replacement (AVR) are still a technical challenge for surgeons because these procedures are undertaken through small incisions and deep surgical fields. Although AVR via vertical infraaxillary thoracotomy can be a cosmetically superior option, a disadvantage of this approach is the distance between the thoracotomy incision and the ascending aorta. Therefore, we devised a technique to perform all manipulations using the fingertips without the aid of a knot pusher or long-shafted surgical instruments. This was achieved by particular placement of several retracted sutures to the right chest wall. We named placement of these sutures the "Stonehenge technique." In conclusion, AVR via vertical infraaxillary thoracotomy with our Stonehenge technique can be safely and simply performed with superior cosmetic advantages.

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