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.
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.
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 level. A minimally invasive procedure reduces the opportunities for infection and shock. It reduces the need for blood transfusion and therefore has less of an impact upon the immune system.
Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to helping you understand minithoracotomy. If you have any questions about minithoracotomy or the steps we will take to ensure the procedure goes well, feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.