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The aim of the study was to evaluate the treatment of minimally invasive mitral valve replacement (MIMVR) through a right minithoracotomy for patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease.From February 2009 to December 2016, 360 patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease underwent mitral valve replacement by the same surgeon. Among them, 150 patients accepted MIMVR through a right minithoracotomy, whereas the other 210 accepted a traditional median sternotomy. After matching by patients by age, sex, EuroSCORE, New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification, renal and liver function, and degree of mitral valve disease, we selected 224 patients for analysis in our retrospective study.In the MIMVR group (112 patients), the aortic cross-clamp time (ACC time) (55.25 ± 2.18 minutes) was significantly longer than that in the control group (112 patients; 36.05 ± 1.40 minutes) (P < .0001). In contrast, the cardiopulmonary bypass time (CPB time) was shorter in the MIMVR group than in the control group (61.13 ± 2.57 vs 78.65 ± 4.05 minutes, respectively, P < .0001). Patients who accepted MIMVR surgery had less drainage 24 hours postoperation (324.10 ± 34.55 vs 492.90 ± 34.05 mL, P < .0001) and had less total drainage (713.46 ± 65.35 vs 990.49 ± 67.88 mL, P < .0001) than those who underwent median sternotomy. Thirty-two percent of patients in the MIMVR group needed a blood transfusion (1.35 ± .28 units of red blood cells, 155.36 ± 33.43 mL plasma), whereas 67.0% of the control group needed a blood transfusion (2.15 ± .24 units of red blood cells, 287.50 ± 33.54 mL plasma) (Ptransfusion < .001, Pcell = .029, Pplasma = .006). In total, 5 deaths occurred during the perioperative period; 3 occurred in the MIMVR group. The average hospital stay was significantly shorter in the MIMVR group than that in the control group (6.56 ± .23 vs 8.53 ± .59 days, P = .003).MIMVR, an effective and safe treatment approach for patients suffering from rheumatic mitral valve disease, is associated with less trauma and a faster recovery. It is a better choice for treating simple rheumatic mitral valve disease.