Minimally invasive versus conventional aortic valve operations: a prospective study in 120 patients

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Abstract

Background.

Risk evaluation comparing the minimally invasive and standard aortic valve operations has not been studied.

Methods.

Four surgeons were randomly assigned to perform the minimally invasive (L-shaped sternotomy) (group 1) or the conventional (group 2) operation in 120 patients exclusively.

Results.

In both groups (n = 60) a CarboMedics prothesis was implanted in 90% of patients. There was no significant difference in the cross-clamping period (group 1, 60 minutes; range, 35 to 116 minutes), in the duration of extracorporal circulation (group 1, 84 minutes; range, 51 to 179 minutes) or in the time from skin-to-skin (group 1, 195 minutes; range, 145 to 466 minutes). Patients in group 1 were extubated earlier (p < 0.001), the postoperative blood loss was less (p < 0.001), and the need for analgesics was reduced (p < 0.05). In 5 patients in group 1 a redo operation was required for bleeding (p > 0.05), 3 patients in group 1 required a redo operation because of paravalvular leakage or endocarditis (p > 0.05), the 30-day mortality rate was 1.6%. Overall the survival rate was 95% in group 1 and 97% in group 2 (mean follow-up, 294 days; range, 30 to 745 days).

Conclusion.

The advantages of minimally invasive aortic valve operation include reduced trauma from incision and duration of ventilation, decreased blood loss and postoperative pain, the avoidance of groin cannulation, and a cosmetically attractive result. Simple equipment is used with a high degree of effectiveness and with no sacrifice of safety. Our study demonstrated the practicability and reliability of this new method.

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