Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery and Single Vessel Coronary Artery Bypass via Limited Anterior Right Thoracotomy

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Heart Surgery Forum


Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting with aortic valve replacement (AVR) or mitral valve replacement (MVR) is traditionally performed via sternotomy. Minimally invasive coronary surgery (MICS) and minimally invasive valve surgery have been successfully performed independently. Patients with critical right coronary artery (RCA) stenosis not amenable to percutaneous intervention are candidates for valve replacement and single vessel coronary artery bypass. We present our series of six patients who underwent a concomitant valve and single vessel intervention via right thoracotomy. Methods: Between January 2011 and June 2013, six patients underwent right thoracotomy with valve replacement and single vessel bypass. Four aortic and two mitral valves were replaced and all received single vessel RCA bypass using reversed saphenous vein graft. Thoracotomy was via right anterior approach for AVR and right lateral for MVR. The patients were assessed postoperatively for overall outcomes. Results: The average age was 74 years (range 69-81); two patients were elective (AVR-1; MVR-1) and four were urgent (AVR-3; MVR-1). For MICS AVR and MICS MVR, the average cardiopulmonary bypass time was 171 +/- 30 and 169 +/- 7 minutes and the average aortic cross-clamp time was 122 +/- 36 and 112 +/- 2 minutes, respectively. Three patients were discharged home, one patient to a nursing home, and two to rehab. No patients required conversion to sternotomy; one patient developed atrial fibrillation, and one sepsis. Conclusion: Concomitant valve replacement and single bypass grafting via right anterior mini-thoracotomy is a viable option for select patients, particularly in non-stentable RCA stenosis. In the appropriate patient population, combined coronary artery bypass grafting and valve surgery can be safely performed via right thoracotomy.

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Northwell Researcher, Northwell Resident


Northwell Health

Primary Department

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery






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