There are many additional patient benefits in minimally invasive surgery. When it comes to your surgical procedure, less is more. If Sentara surgeons are able to use minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat your cardiac condition, there will be less pain and scarring, plus a shorter hospital stay and quicker return to your daily activities.
One of the greatest patient benefits of minimally invasive surgery is avoiding a sternotomy, a surgical procedure in which surgeons make an 8- to 10-inch incision through skin, cartilage and bone to open the chest cavity to gain access to the heart. This often, but not always, results in using the heart-bypass machine to pump blood and oxygen for your heart during surgery. Benefits of minimally invasive heart surgery include:
Avoids sternotomy, or open-chest surgery
Fewer post-surgical infections
Improved cosmetic results Patients have a 3 inch keyhole incision on the right side of the chest, in place of a 10-inch scar down the center of the chest. In women, the incision frequently is hidden completely underneath the breast.
Reduced pain and complications - fewer pain medications, which enable patients to heal faster.
A short stay in the hospital - Three to four days for an uncomplicated minimally invasive cardiac surgery, versus a five to 10-day stay after classic open-heart procedures.
Speeds a return to regular activities - Consult with your doctor about activity levels and driving, but many patients are back to their regular routines in two weeks versus three months after open-chest surgery.