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Ann Card Anaesth. 2020 Jan-Mar;23(1):7-13. doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_158_18.

Does minimal invasive cardiac surgery reduce the incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation?

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ippokrateio General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common post-operative complication and tends to be the most common arrhythmia after cardiac surgery. The etiology and risk factors for post-operative AF are poorly understood, but older age, large left atrium, diffuse coronary artery disease, a history of AF paroxysms and in general, pre-existing cardiac conditions that cause restricting and susceptibility towards inflammation have been consistently linked with post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF). It has been traditionally thought that post-operative AF is transient, well-tolerated, benign to the patient and self-limiting complication of cardiac surgery that was temporary and easily treated. However, recent evidence suggests that POAF may be more "malignant" than previously thought, associated with follow-up mortality and morbidity. Several minimally invasive approaches, including the right parasternal approach, upper and lower mini-sternotomy (MS), V-shaped, Z-shaped, inverse-T, J-, reverse-C and reverse-L partial MS, transverse sternotomy and right mini-thoracotomy, have been developed for cardiac surgery operations since 1993 and have been associated with better outcomes and lower perioperative morbidity compared to full sternotomy (FS). The common goal of several minimally invasive approaches is to reduce invasiveness and surgical trauma. According to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), the term "minimally invasive" refers to a small chest wall incision that does not include a FS. This review is aimed to evaluate the use of minimally invasive techniques like mini-sternotomy, mini-thoracotomy and hybrid techniques versus conventional techniques which are used in cardiac surgery and to compare the frequency of post-operative AF and its effect on post-operative complications, morbidity and mortality, after cardiac surgery operations with FS versus cardiac surgery operations with the use of minimally invasive techniques.


Atrial fibrillation; hybrid cardiac surgery; mini sternotomy; minimal invasive cardiac surgery; valve surgery.

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