Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

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

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

10 Questions to Ask Your Heart Surgeon- Canton, OH

If you are in need of heart surgery, you no doubt have many questions or concerns regarding preparation for the surgery, the surgery itself, recovery, and more. During your consultation, you’ll want to have some, if not all of these questions answered. Take a look at these 10 questions you should ask your heart surgeon: How big is the scar after a minimally invasive operation? A minimally invasive heart surgery expert can perform the operation through a 2″ long incision. This tiny scar is often completely hidden in the skin fold underneath the right breast and will be invisible no matter what you wear. What long lasting local anesthetic do you use in the spaces between the ribs above and below mini incision? Dr. Ciuffo will inject about 5 cc of Marcaine in each intercostal space, aiming to soak up the intercostal nerve. He will infiltrate two spaces above the thoracotomy, the thoracotomy space itself and two spaces below it to achieve effective pain control. Which specific operations can be performed through a minimally invasive incision? Dr. Ciuffo can perform heart surgery, including aortic, mitral and tricuspid valve repairs or replacements, atrial septal defect repairs, ventricular septal defect repairs, redo operations, maze procedures, coronary bypass, atrial myxomas, intracardiac tumors, placement of biventricular pacemaker leads, ligation of coronary aneurysms and fistulas, and excision of extracardiac tumors. Am I a suitable candidate for a Minimally Invasive Procedure? This decision can only be made after a thorough evaluation. Dr. Ciuffo personally evaluates and examines each patient to determine if a minimally invasive procedure is indicated and feasible. How long is the recovery after...

How Long Is Normal Heart Surgery Recovery Time?

One of our patient’s main concerns about getting  minimally invasive heart surgery is heart surgery recovery time. How soon you will be able to return to normal activity after the procedure? While every patient and surgery is slightly different, there are a few general guidelines for resuming daily activities after surgery. One Day After Surgery During the day after your surgery, you should feel comfortable and you will be awake. Your doctor will encourage you to walk as much as you are comfortable with and to perform deep breathing exercises to clear your lungs. Two-Three Days After Surgery During day two and three, you will continue to be comfortable. Any residual symptoms from anesthesia are no longer present. Walking is still encouraged, and you should be able to walk up and down the hospital corridors. Most of Dr. Ciuffo’s patients are able to be discharged home or to a rehab facility in two to three days after surgery. One-Two Weeks Post Surgery Once our patients are home or at their rehab facility, Dr. Ciuffo recommends a gradual increase in physical activity. By two weeks post-surgery, most patients are able to resume their daily activities, including driving and going outside. For our out-of-state patients, most are able to travel back home within seven days of surgery. During this time period, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities, as long as they aren’t too rigorous. Two Weeks and Beyond After two weeks, many patients resumed all their normal activities. With such a fast heart surgery recovery time, our patients feel free to travel, return to work, and exercise within weeks of their...