DR. MARK J. RUSSO, MD, MS

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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

Traditional heart surgery requires the surgeon to “crack the chest.” Though traditional sternotomy is a proven approach to fixing the heart and necessary in some cases, alternative minimally-invasive approaches are great options for many patients. These include a mini-thoractomy (though the rib spaces), which spares the sternum and avoids the need to “crack the chest.”

At RWJUH, nearly all of our isolated valve surgeries are performed minimally invasively.  At RWJUH, minimally invasive approaches are our standard approach.

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive valve surgery is a specialized approach to treating heart valve disease. Rather than making a large incision through the breastbone (sternum) to gain access to the heart, this method uses sophisticated instruments to perform the surgery through a smaller incision at the side of the chest.

Why RWJUH for Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive valve surgery is a highly advanced technique that requires special expertise and equipment. Only select hospitals offer this approach.  At RWJUH, nearly all of our isolated valve surgeries are performed minimally invasively.  At RWJUH, minimally invasive approaches are our standard approach.

Did you know…

  • At RWJUH, nearly all isolated valve surgeries are performed minimally invasively. 
  • Minimally Invasive approaches avoid “cracking the chest”
  • Minimally Invasive approaches allow faster return to home, a quicker return to normal activities, less blood loss, less risk for infection 

At RWJUH, 50% of our patients are discharged within 3 day of isolated minimally invasive valves 

What are the Potential Benefits of Minimally invasive surgery?

  • Faster return to home/less time spent in the hospital
  • Faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusion
  • Less risk for infection and other complications associated with cutting it (sternotomy) that may occur with traditional open-chest procedures
  • Better cosmetic results. Small incisions that result in little to no scarring. Depending upon the procedure, incisions may be four to five dime-size slits or a 3- to 5-inch incision at the side of the chest.
  • Quicker resolution of pain, with many patients able to control pain after discharge with Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain medicines.

Minimally Invasive approaches avoid “cracking the chest”