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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1997 Nov;114(5):773-80; discussion 780-2.

Video-assisted minimally invasive mitral valve surgery.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.



This study was done to determine the potential benefits of minimally invasive mitral surgery performed with intraoperative video assistance.


From May 1996 until March 1997, a minithoracotomy and video assistance were used in 31 consecutive patients undergoing mitral repair (n = 20) and replacement (n = 11). Their ages ranged from 18 to 77 years (59 +/- 2.6 years; mean +/- standard error of the mean). Ejection fractions were 35% to 62% (55% +/- 1.5%). Operations were done with either antegrade/retrograde (n = 10) or antegrade (n = 19) cold blood cardioplegia and a new transthoracic crossclamp or with ventricular fibrillation (n = 2). Peripheral arterial cannulation (n = 28) and pump-assisted right atrial drainage (n = 26) were used most often.


No hospital deaths occurred, but the 30-day mortality was 3.2%. Complications included deep venous thrombosis and a phrenic nerve palsy in one patient each. No patient had a stroke or required reoperation for bleeding. Postoperative echocardiography showed excellent valve function in all but one patient. Cardiopulmonary bypass and arrest times averaged 183 +/- 7.2 and 136 +/- 5.5 minutes, respectively. Compared with 100 patients having conventional mitral valve operations, these patients had significantly shorter hospitalization times (8.6 +/- 0.5 vs 5.1 +/- 0.9 days, p = 0.05). Moreover, 81% of the later cohort were discharged between day 3 and 5 (3.6 +/- 0.2 days). Hospital charges (decreases 27%, p = 0.05) and costs (decreases 34%, p < 0.05) were less than in conventional operations. Patient follow-up suggested minimal perioperative pain and rapid recovery.


Early results suggest that video-assisted minimally invasive mitral operations can be done safely. These methods may benefit patients through less morbidity, earlier discharge, and lower cost.

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