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...

Inoperable Diagnosis? Get a Second Opinion

Inoperable Diagnosis? Get a Second Opinion Many patients come to us for a second opinion after receiving an inoperable diagnosis. Inoperable heart surgery may be made possible by new and advanced techniques. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. Dr. Ciuffo may be able to help when other doctors have decided the risks are too high. Inoperable Heart Surgery Many patients are diagnosed as high risk because of factors like age, frailty, or other diseases. Some patients with factors prohibiting heart surgery can receive successful life-saving procedures with minimally invasive techniques. High-risk patients should seek a second opinion on their inoperable heart surgery diagnosis. It’s impossible to say whether minimally invasive surgery is an option for you without a full examination and diagnosis, but the chances are good that minimally invasive techniques can help you or a loved one.   Inoperable Diagnosis An inoperable diagnosis is often based on the doctor’s opinion of the patient’s ability to handle the shock of traditional heart surgery. Traditional surgery often results in broken ribs and massive incisions that take weeks or months to completely heal. With the shock of the invasion of the body, combined with the risks of infection, traditional heart surgery is extremely difficult for even healthy patients. If age, other diseases, or frailty are factored in, it may seem like an inoperable diagnosis is sound. However, with minimally invasive techniques, the risks are significantly reduced. Second Opinion Don’t be afraid to question the doctor who has given you a diagnosis. Ask why the cardiologist believes the diagnosis is “inoperable,” and have them write down their answers. Ask what the...

Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery New technologies are emerging all the time. As open heart surgery treatments advance, there are new options and choices facing patients. As you move toward open heart surgery as a treatment, consider all your options and weight the benefits and risks with your medical team to decide what the best course of action is for you. Open Heart Surgery It used to be that open heart surgery was a last-resort risk. The recovery time was slow and the procedure often left behind large scars which took a long time to heal. Traditional open heart surgery involved breaking through the ribcage, usually through the sternum itself, to reach the heart. This left the patient with a long, hard and often painful recovery. New techniques and technologies allow for a much less invasive option for most patients. Sternotomy Traditionally, open heart surgery, or sternotomy, meant entering the chest through a large incision, breaking the sternum to reach the heart, and performing the surgery. The potential problems included inflammation, swelling, pain, a longer recovery time, and infection. The s hock to the heart and the blood loss made it more difficult for patients to recover fully and heal efficiently. Fortunately, minimally invasive heart surgery options are now available. Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery With minimally invasive heart surgery, there is a much smaller incision, which can often be hidden beneath the fold of a breast. Since the incision is made between the rib bones rather than entering through the sternum, recovery time is much shorter and less painful. The risk of infection is also greatly lowered. The...

Inoperable Heart Disease – Tips to Find a Solution

Inoperable Heart Disease-  Tips For Finding Solutions A diagnosis of inoperable heart disease can be discouraging. A heart condition may be difficult to live with. Minimally invasive bloodless heart surgery may offer options that may not be possible with traditional methods. The treatment options available are dependent upon a number of conditions, including both your own physical health and the scope of experience of the doctors dealing with your case. Inoperable Heart Disease Each patient’s case is decided individually. There are steps you’ll need to take when facing a diagnosis of inoperable heart disease. It’s important not to panic or lose hope. Even if your case isn’t a good candidate for surgical options, there are many treatments available that can extend and improve the quality of your life.  Ask questions. Request that the medical doctor in charge of your case and your surgeon explain exactly why your case is considered “inoperable.” Be sure to write down the details of their answers.  Obtain copies of all of your diagnostic records, including imaging- CAT scans, catheterizations, echocardiograms, EKG and other reports.  Gather copies of all the reports pertinent to your case, including blood test and other results. Heart Disease Heart disease is not a completely-understood condition. There are many aspects that doctors have to make their best educated and trained guesses about the potential outcomes of treatment options. While you’re gathering your records, reach out for a second opinion.  Seek a second opinion. Gather your information and bring it to the new doctor, so that they may evaluate your case fully and to avoid repeating expensive testing.  Ask your doctor to...

What is a Normal Pulse Range

What is a Normal Pulse Range Following surgery, vital signs are carefully monitored in the hospital. You may find that your heart rate after open heart surgery has changed. Symptoms like a speeded up heart rate or a pulse deficit may indicate an fibrillation problem.  Normal Pulse Range The normal pulse rate for adults at rest ranges from 60-100 beats per minute. The normal pulse range can change after a surgery or under continuing stress. It’s important to check with your doctor to ensure your vital signs are where they should be for you. Everyone is different. An “average” is what’s normal for most people in the general population. What’s normal for you may vary. Pulse Deficit A pulse deficit occurs when your doctor can find a difference between the number of heartbeats observed with a monitor (like a stethoscope or EKG) and the pulse that’s able to be felt at the wrist or other pulse point. A pulse deficit happens when your heart is beating but the pulse isn’t reaching the extremities. It may indicate a weakness in your heart, atrial fibrillation, or very early ectopic beats. Vital Signs Your vital signs are the best indicator of your overall heart health. If you’re experiencing a change in your heart rate after open heart surgery, you will want to discuss your heart rate and blood pressure with your doctor. It’s important to learn to monitor your own heart rate at resting and during exercise so that you have a baseline to refer to when checking your pulse.  If you have any questions following your treatment or about your heart...

How Do I Prepare for Open Heart Surgery- Canton, OH

Preparing for Heart Surgery Open heart surgery involves any kind of surgery where the chest has to be cut open to allow surgeons access to muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart. This type of surgery generally takes around 4 to 6 hours but it painless with the use of anesthesia. Any kind of surgery can cause stress and anxiety because of the worry that something will go wrong, but here are a few tips on preparing for your surgery:               Talk to your doctor. Your doctor should know about any drugs you are taking. This includes any over-the-counter medication as well as vitamins and herbs. You should also tell your doctor about any diseases you have had including herpes, a cold, the flu, or even a fever.             Don’t take certain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. These medications are blood-thinning and can affect blood clotting.             Be careful when you eat. It is recommended that you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.             Quit smoking. If you are having your heart surgery because of the harmful effects of smoking, you need to stop as soon as possible.             Eat a healthy diet. Starting to eat healthier will lower your blood pressure and could help prevent heart complications after your surgery. These are just a few general preparation tips to think about before your surgery, but your doctor will talk to you about anything else you may want to consider if your surgery date is approaching. Dr. Chiuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program Dr. Chiuffo is dedicated...