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Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques
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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Advanced Cardiac Surgery techniques have revolutionized and continue to shape our specialty with highly sophisticated and effective ways to treat heart disease. We are continuously evolving towards better outcomes and a minimally invasive heart surgery approach that is low impact and scarless. Our minimally invasive techniques have radically changed our patients’ heart surgery experience and postoperative recovery.

Patients who are treated with these improved minimally invasive surgical methods can now experience faster recovery times. Even the elderly and frail patients can often return to their homes and families in two-three days after heart surgery with very little pain and an almost invisible scar. This scar is often completely hidden in the skin fold under the breast.

I know how confusing and scary it can be if you or a loved one are confronted with the news that something needs to be done about a severe heart condition. How do you know if you are making the right decisions, and what questions should you ask your specialist to make sure you are treated with the best possible options? We have created this website to give cardiac patients and their families complete information about the minimally invasive treatment options available.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Resources

About Our Site

This website has been conceived as a down-to-earth guide to help and educate anybody who needs a heart procedure and wants to know the best medical and surgical solutions available today in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

minimally invasive heart surgery recovery

(Photo Credit: Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

Keep reading and you will become an informed consumer with the right questions to ask. Cardiac surgery and cardiology have evolved tremendously over the last twenty years and the combined expertise of these specialties offers the best results and options ever achieved in the history of medicine. Our minimally invasive technologies and surgical solutions have opened new doors and a chance to get better even in cases who were considered inoperable by traditional and conventional methods.

Heart Surgery Experience

Over the span of Dr. Ciuffo’s extensive professional career in cardiothoracic surgery, he has had the opportunity to compare the clinical results and patients’ comfort and recovery with traditional and conventional cardiothoracic surgery techniques versus bloodless and minimally invasive heart surgery techniques.

Our center experience has shown that these new techniques allow the best clinical results. The most obvious advantages to minimally invasive heart surgery are less pain, less bleeding, less wound infections, a quicker recovery and return to a productive life style, superior cosmetic results. Learn more about Dr. Ciuffo’s minimally invasive heart surgery experience and training.

minimally invasive heart surgery dr. giovanni ciuffo

Our conclusions have been corroborated by innumerable scientific articles in the surgical literature confirming these same clinical advantages. As we explore these topics, we will quote relevant bibliography for those of you who have an academic interest in this field or simply want to get more scientific information. We encourage you to send your comments or questions about this website or any scientific literature on  the advanced treatment of cardiovascular disease.

What We Do: Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Many heart patients and their families are intimidated and confused by the complexity of this field and find it increasingly difficult to make the right choice for themselves or their loved ones. Cardiovascular care has evolved very successfully towards new techniques and technologies.

minimally invasive heart surgery

These breakthroughs have created a new, “gentle touch” surgical experience that is now available to the vast majority of our patients by the hands of expert minimally invasive heart surgeons. Even the elderly and frail patient can enjoy the best results with a smooth and quick recovery after bypass surgery or a minimally invasive mitral valve repair or aortic valve replacement. Minimally Invasive ASD repairs and Atrial Myxoma Surgery is now routinely offered to most patients.

In most women the surgical scar can be completely hidden in the skin fold underneath the breast, with the best cosmetic results and an excellent repair of their heart problem. This type of surgery is also known as Scarless Heart Surgery. You definitely don’t need to be a movie star or a fashion model to request this type of cardiac surgery. All patients are routinely evaluated to see if they can be suitable candidates for the least invasive approach.

Why Choose Us?

For those of you who are interested in a specific heart problem, We have divided this vast subject under several headings that cover the most frequent cardiovascular pathologies. This website is designed to be user friendly and very easy to navigate. Links to relevant topics, surgical videos and pictures are available in each page. Over the years in Dr. Ciuffo’s professional practice, he has developed a simple and effective way to explain the mechanisms that cause heart disease as well as our high-tech, minimally invasive heart surgery and medical techniques to treat it.

bloodless and minimally invasive heart surgery patient, Madalyn Copcutt, with Dr. Ciuffo

Image Source: Canton Mercy Medical

You’ll find our explanations down-to-earth and filled with examples drawn from carpentry, plumbing, mechanical engineering, and more. You shouldn’t be surprised or offended by these examples. Our cardiovascular system could be simply described as a double pump (right and left side of the heart) connected to a network of pipes (veins and arteries) that allows oxygenated blood to reach and nourish every organ and cell in our body.

We will guide you step-by-step through what happens when a part of our heart system fails and what we do to diagnose the problem, then treat it with outstanding results!

You’ll be able to understand how your coronary arteries work and how a stent, an angioplasty, or minimally invasive bypass operation can relieve chest pain or save a life. You’ll find out about the pros and cons of prosthetic heart valves we can use to perform an aortic valve replacement or a mitral valve repair. We will bring you up to date on hybrid valve and coronary surgery and its role in less invasive ways to treat a variety of heart conditions.

Please, feel free to browse in any order you like. It is a work in progress. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please revisit later or contact us directly. When it comes to your health, it truly pays to be an informed consumer. There is a lot we can do to have longer and better lives.

We will gladly answer all your questions about heart disease and the most advanced surgical options to treat any heart condition. We understand and respect your concerns about minimally invasive heart surgery. It is your heart, your life, your choice.

Watch Dr. Ciuffo Talk About Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo - Minimally Invasive Heart Surgeon

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD
Director, Minimally Invasive and
Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Mercy Medical Center

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Facebook Profile   Heart Surgeon Dr. Ciuffo LinkedIn Profile   Minimally Invasive Heart Surgeon Twitter  Heart Surgery Minimally Invasive Google+ Page Dr. Ciuffo's YouTube Channel

Dr. Ciuffo’s News and Articles

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Find the latest on minimally invasive heart surgery from our blog!

What is a Minithoracotomy?- Canton, OH

A thoracotomy is an incision into the pleural space of the chest. It is performed by surgeons to gain access to the thoracic organs, most commonly the heart, the lungs, or the esophagus, or for access to the thoracic aorta or the anterior spine. Therefore, a minithoracotomy is any thoracotomy involving less muscle division than the classic posterolateral thoracotomy (which is an incision through an intercostal space on the back, and is often widened with rib spreaders). Dr. Ciuffo performs this minimally invasive procedure for patients in need of aortic, tricuspid, mitral, aortic valve surgery, atrial myxoma and atrial septal defect (ASD) repairs or other suitable coronary cases. The Procedure To perform a minithoracotomy, Dr. Ciuffo will not need to break any bones. He will make a surgical incision through a thin muscle layer between the ribs. The avoidance of a split in the breast bone and ribs gives less pain, less chances of wound infection, less bleeding and a much more reliable healing of the surgical wound. To minimize pain, your doctor will inject local anesthetic in the nerves between the ribs (intercostal nerve block). After the Procedure After Dr. Ciuffo completes the surgery, the scar will be barely visible below the neck and away from the midline towards the side of the chest. For women, this scar may even be hidden in the skin fold underneath the breast. Patients can resume their normal activities after the procedure because there are no restrictions in driving a car or carrying weights other than the patient’s own comfort level. Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to...

What is Atrial Myxoma?- Canton, OH

Atrial myxoma is the most common primary heart tumor. Because of nonspecific symptoms, early diagnosis may be a challenge. Left atrial myxoma may or may not produce characteristic findings on auscultation. Two-dimensional echocardiography is the diagnostic procedure of choice. Most atrial myxomas are benign and can be removed by surgical resection. Causes About 75% of myxomas occur in the left atrium of the heart, usually beginning in the wall that divides the two upper chambers of the heart. The rest are in the right atrium. Right atrial myxomas are sometimes associated with tricuspid stenosis and atrial fibrillation. Myxomas are more common in women. About 1 in 10 myxomas are passed down through families (inherited). Such tumors are called familial myxomas. They tend to occur in more than one part of the heart at a time, and often cause symptoms at a younger age. Symptoms Symptoms may occur at any time, but most often they go along with a change in body position. Symptoms of a myxoma may include: breathing difficulty when lying flat, breathing difficulty when asleep, chest pain or tightness, dizziness, fainting, sensation of feeling your heart beat (palpitations), shortness of breath with activity. The symptoms and signs of left atrial myxomas often mimic mitral stenosis. Right atrial myxomas rarely produce symptoms until they have grown to be at least 5 inches wide. Other symptoms may include: blueness of skin, especially the fingers (Raynaud’s phenomenon), cough, curvature of nails accompanied with soft tissue swelling (clubbing) of the fingers, fever, fingers that change color upon pressure or with cold or stress, losing weight without trying, joint pain, and swelling. Treatments...