A Contemporary Approach to Reoperative Aortic Valve Surgery: When is Less, More?

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Abstract

Objective

Although the benefits of minimally invasive valvular surgery are well established, the applicability of extending these techniques to reoperative aortic valve surgery is unknown. We evaluated our experience with a minimally invasive approach to this patient population.

Methods

From January 2010 to September 2015, 21 patients underwent reoperative isolated aortic valve replacement via a minimally invasive approach by a single surgeon. All patients had preoperative evaluation with computerized tomography and coronary catheterization. Surgical approaches were right anterior thoracotomy (6/21) or upper hemisternotomy (15/21). Central aortic cannulation was preferred with femoral artery cannulation used in four patients (19%). In patients with left internal mammary artery (LIMA) grafts, no attempt to dissect or occlude the graft was made. Cold blood cardioplegia was administered antegrade (12/21) or retrograde (9/21); systemic cooling with a mean low temperature of 27.5 °C was employed.

Results

Mean age was 75.1 years with a range from 33 to 92 years, and 67% (14/21) were male. All procedures were completed with a minimally invasive approach. Mean ± SD cross-clamp time was 51.5 ± 9.2 minutes. Fourteen patients had patent LIMA grafts. No aortic, LIMA, or cardiac injuries occurred. There were no hospital deaths nor occurrences of perioperative myocardial infarction, stroke, wound infection, renal failure, or endocarditis/sepsis. One patient required a reoperation for bleeding. Sixty-two percent of patients were discharged to home; mean ± SD length of stay was 6 ± 3 days.

Conclusions

With appropriate preoperative evaluation and careful surgical planning, a minimally invasive approach to reoperative aortic valve surgery can be performed in a safe and effective manner.

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