Video-assisted minimal access in excision of left atrial myxoma

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Minimal access surgery with video-assisted endoscopy has been applied to the correction of intracardiac lesions. We report our experience using this technique in surgical excision of left atrial myxoma in 3 patients.


From November 1995 to March 1997, 3 female patients, ages 45 to 80 years (mean, 62.7 years), received emergency operations for excision of left atrial myxoma. These operations were performed through a right anterior submammary minithoracotomy or right parasternal incision with the assistance of endoscopy during femoro–femoral cardiopulmonary bypass. The myocardium was protected by continuous coronary perfusion with fibrillatory arrest or cardioplegic arrest with aortic cross-clamping.


All the tumors were excised completely through the right atrial approach. The bypass time was 92 to 148 minutes (mean, 111 minutes). The operation time was 3.2 to 4.4 hours (mean, 3.7 hours). There were no hospital deaths. Follow-up, which ranged from 6 to 19 months (mean, 10.5 months), was complete in all patients. Transthoracic echocardiographic examination showed good ventricular function without any residual tumors. Patients were found to be in New York Heart Association functional class I or II. They were satisfied with the good cosmetic healing of the incision.


Our experience demonstrates that minimal access surgery is a technically feasible, safe, and effective procedure in surgical excision of left atrial myxoma.

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