Less invasive versus conventional heart valve surgery in patients with severe heart failure

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Abstract

Objective:

Patients with severe heart failure might benefit from reduced operative trauma, but rarely undergo less-invasive valve surgery. The present study compared the outcomes of less-invasive heart valve surgery with those of complete sternotomy in such patients.

Methods:

From January 1995 to July 2010, 871 patients in New York Heart Association class III or IV underwent valve surgery (aortic or mitral, or both). A less-invasive approach was used in 205. Propensity score matching yielded 185 matched pairs for outcomes comparison adjusted for patient characteristics and 139 pairs adjusted further for individual surgeon.

Results:

Without considering surgeons, myocardial ischemic times (59 ± 27 vs 64 ± 26 minutes, P = .04), cardiopulmonary bypass times (75 ± 35 vs 86 ± 34 minutes, P < .0001), and intensive care unit stays (median, 24 vs 43 hours; P = .007) were shorter for less-invasive surgery. Hospital morbidity, mortality (1.6% [3 of 185] vs 2.7% [5 of 185]; P = .5), and long-term survival (53% and 48% at 12 years; P = .3) were similar. After considering the surgeon, these benefits were not apparent; rather, efficiency, safety, and effectiveness were equivalent to those of complete sternotomy. Thus, myocardial ischemic (63 ± 30 vs 62 ± 25 minutes, P = .8) and cardiopulmonary bypass (80 ± 40 vs 81 ± 31 minutes, P = .5) times were similar, as were intensive care unit stay (median, 28 vs 30 hours; P = .09), postoperative complications, in-hospital mortality (2.2% [3 of 139] vs 3.6% [5 of 139]; P = .5), and long-term survival (57% and 53% at 12 years; P = .5).

Conclusions:

In selected patients with severe heart failure, less-invasive valve surgery is a viable option, yielding at least equivalent efficiency, safety, and effectiveness to complete sternotomy. However, achieving these outcomes requires surgeons experienced in less-invasive surgery.

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