Video-Assisted Minithoracotomy Approach: Technical Developments Towards Totally Endoscopic Sutureless Aortic Valve Replacement

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Background and Aim of the Study:

Interest in sutureless aortic bioprostheses is growing because of the potential advantages that such devices can bring in facilitating minimally invasive approaches. Video assistance can potentially enhance details of decalcification and sutureless valve sizing. We review the feasibility of sutureless aortic valve replacement (AVR) via a minimally invasive video-assisted (MIVA) right anterior minithoracotomy.


Between November 2012 and November 2013, 21 patients were selected to undergo an AVR using the Enable sutureless device (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN, USA) via a video-assisted right second space minithoracotomy.


Procedural success of the MIVA approach was 95.3% (one conversion to median sternotomy due to severe pleural adhesions). Average aortic clamp time was 72.1 ± 22.1 min. No paravalvular leakage was detected at discharge. Thirty-day mortality was 4.7% (one patient, pulmonary embolism).


The described approach appears to be safe and feasible with adequate clamp times. Video assistance allows optimal visualization of the aortic root and accurate valve delivery, without conflict between the device, the camera, and the instruments, making this setting an encouraging baseline towards the assessment of the totally endoscopic approach. doi: 10.1111/jocs.12368(J Card Surg 2014;29:494–496)

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