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Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques
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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Advanced Cardiac Surgery techniques continue to shape and revolutionize 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. 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 can be completely hidden in the skin fold under the breast.

Dr. Ciuffo knows 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? Dr. Ciuffo and his team 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 andBloodless Heart Surgery

Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo - Minimally Invasive Heart Surgeon
Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD

Director, Cardiovascular Surgery WellSpan Health System Chair, Cardiovascular Surgery WellSpan York Hospital Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program

WellSpan Dr. Ciuffo’s News and Articles

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

Can a Minithoracotomy Be a Minimally Invasive Procedure?

Can a Minithoracotomy Be a Minimally Invasive Procedure? A traditional thoracotomy is a procedure that allows a surgeon to access the chest cavity. When performing a minithoracotomy as a minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Ciuffo is able to reduce risk and recovery time. Thoracotomy A traditional thoracotomy involves an incision into the pleural space of the chest. It is often performed using spreaders to separate the ribs and breastbone, which may result in broken bones. The trauma of the surgery to the body makes it a difficult one for those with compromised immune systems or other medical conditions to undergo. This may limit the options for elderly or immune-challenged patients. A thoracotomy procedure can lead to weeks of recovery following heart surgery.   Minithoracotomy Dr. Ciuffo takes a different approach to heart surgery. When performing a minithoracotomy, he does not employ the use of rib spreaders or other equipment that leads to broken bones or a large incision. The incision is much smaller and in women may even be hidden beneath the fold of the breast. The surgical incision is made through the thin layer of muscle between the ribs. This minimally invasive minithoracotomy provides less risk for infection and a shorter healing time. It may be appropriate for patients who require aortic, tricuspid, mitral, aortic valve surgery, atrial myxoma, and atrial septal defect (ASD) repairs. Minimally Invasive Procedure Once the minimally invasive procedure is complete, the scar will be barely visible below the neck and away from the midline, near the side of the chest. Patients may resume normal activities soon after the procedure, depending upon their own comfort...

Importance of Maintaining A Healthy Weight

Importance of Maintaining A Healthy Weight The importance of maintaining a healthy weight to a heart patient can’t be overstated. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body. Weight has a direct effect on the amount of work the heart has to do. Losing even just a few pounds can have a strong positive impact on your overall health. Healthy Weight Several factors determine a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical to avoiding heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. In general, obesity is considered having too much body fat, which places extra pressure on your arteries, bones, and nerves, making it difficult for your body to function properly. Fitness is the most important key to maintaining a healthy body weight. Walking and other regular exercises is a great place to start working toward maintaining a healthy body weight.   Body Mass Index Your Body Mass Index, often called a BMI, is one measurement of your body fat compared to the overall mass of your body. If your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese. A higher BMI puts you at risk for the conditions associated with obesity. You should talk to your doctor about your overall health and the best ways to work toward achieving and maintaining your ideal weight. Lifestyle, diet, and exercise will all factor into the conversation. Obesity risks Obesity not only puts an extra strain on your joints and other parts of your body; it’s hard on your heart. The harder your heart has to work to push your blood around your body, the more strain it is under....