Minimally invasive surgery is a revolution in the area of complex surgical procedures, especially in cardiac surgery, but has not become commonplace due to lack of infrastructural facilities and non-availability of surgeons having skills to perform minimal invasive procedures. So far, substantial progress has not been made to introduce minimally invasive techniques in most hospitals. It’s not easy due to high costs of equipments needed to implement this technique.
Minimally invasive cardiac surgery
Open-heart surgery like coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is still the most common technique used for adult cardiac surgery because most cardiac surgeons are trained in this technique. The equipments needed for open-heart surgery are available in most hospitals that have facility of heart surgery. Only few big hospitals like Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London offer facility of minimally invasive cardiac surgery where like Roberto Casula, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon is performing mitral, aortic and tricuspid valve surgeries using this technique. But there are few more hospitals in UK and other countries where this technique is also used. The details of these facilities can be searched on the internet.
Conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive surgery
The facility of minimally invasive cardiac surgery technique has poor availability, but this is helpful in treating multiple cardiac conditions such as aortic valve replacement, atrioventricular septal defect surgery, atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closure, coronary artery bypass surgery, maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, mitral valve repair and replacement, saphenous vein harvest for coronary artery bypass surgery, and tricuspid valve repair and replacement.
Minimally invasive vs open-heart surgery
This technique involves less efforts of a surgeon, minimal blood loss of a patient. Less pain and faster recovery after surgery but some the risks like irregular heart rhythm, stroke, wound infection and probability of death can’t be avoided.
We can’t exactly make comparison between open-heart surgery and minimally invasive cardiac surgery amid factors like availability of facility, surgeon, cost, and risks, but latter is apparently a better technique from most perspectives.