Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery can be a life-saving but invasive procedure. Now some types of cardiac surgery can be performed without a large chest incision and lengthy recovery.  St. Mary's Hospital & Regional Medical Center offers heart valve repair and replacement surgery and other selected cardiac procedures using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Minimally invasive techniques

During minimally invasive surgery, surgeons reach the heart through an incision approximately two-inches long in the side of the chest, between the ribs. Patients are usually able to return home within a few days and to their normal routine after just a few weeks. Traditional open chest surgery requires a large incision down the middle of the patient's chest through bone and muscle. Recovery can take several weeks or months and the procedure typically leaves a 10-inch scar.

The benefits of minimally invasive heart surgery over traditional heart surgery

  • Smaller incision and scar
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less bleeding
  • Less pain
  • Less trauma to muscles
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time

Heart conditions treated by St. Mary's minimally invasive heart surgery program

  • Congenital valve defects
  • Narrowing or blockage of valve
  • Heart murmurs
  • Cardiac tumors
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Thoracic and abdominal aneurysms

Candidates for minimally invasive heart surgery

Patients diagnosed with a heart valve defect or disease, heart murmur, irregular heartbeat, or cardiac tumors maybe candidates for minimally invasive surgery. Although minimally invasive surgery is an appropriate treatment option for many, each patient's situation is different. After a full assessment of diagnostic tests, Dr. Narrod determines if the patient is best treated using traditional or minimally invasive techniques, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.