Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery
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St. Luke's Heart & Vascular Center is among the first in the region to offer minimally invasive aortic valve replacement surgery. Performed through a small incision that does not require a sternotomy, patients are able to benefit from an advanced procedure that minimizes recovery time, risk of infection, pain and blood loss.
“Minimally invasive aortic valve repair, or miniAVR, allows us to perform various types of aortic valve replacement using an approach that provides better sternum stability and wound healing,” says Stephen Olenchock, DO, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network. “This procedure is cosmetically appealing and also allows patients to return to work and daily activities much sooner after surgery.”
Who Is a Candidate?
Patients with isolated aortic valvular disease are considered appropriate candidates for minimally invasive aortic valve repair surgery, and both stenosis and regurgitation can be treated utilizing this approach. If patients require additional surgery for repair of aortic aneurysm, coronary artery disease or other comorbid conditions, traditional open surgery will be required, as the small incisions utilized during a minimally invasive procedure do not provide additional access to the heart.
Because this procedure is much less stressful for patients, there are no age limitations. Elderly patients who would otherwise not have been considered candidates for a traditional aortic valve replacement are now also able to benefit.
“As minimally invasive aortic valve repair becomes the standard of care, our thought process regarding valve replacement is changing as well,” says Dr. Olenchock. “This method has become our preferred approach for treating patients with isolated aortic valve disease, and we are able to provide patients with the same positive outcomes achieved through traditional repair.”