Traditional open heart surgery requires just what its name indicates: open access to the heart. It means a large incision and a split sternum—which also means a relatively long and painful recovery for the patient.
But now for many heart procedures, the cardiac surgeons at St.Vincent Heart Center of Indiana have a new, less invasive option: port access surgery. Using the state-of-the-art Heartport® Port-AccessTM system, physicians operate through small incisions, or ports, between the patient’s ribs. Surgeons are able to achieve clinical outcomes that are equal to those of traditional open heart surgery.
Port access surgery may be a particularly good options for patients who have had prior cardiac surgery, who often have increased operative risk. Minimally invasive surgery exposes only small areas of the cardiac surface, reducing risk of damaging previously scarred tissue.