Article Abstract

Video assisted right mini-thoracotomy for aortic valve replacement

Authors: Carl A. Johnson Jr, Amber L. Melvin, Brandon F. Lebow, Amanda Yap, Peter A. Knight


Aortic valve replacement through minimally invasive access is increasing. These procedures have several advantages over conventional sternotomy including decreased intensive care unit and hospital length of stay and decreased ventilation time. The right anterior mini-thoracotomy (RAM) approach is potentially attractive in that it completely spares the sternum leading to improved cosmesis, reduced blood loss, and improved patient satisfaction. However, this approach is underutilized due to anticipated technical challenges including difficulty with visualization and annular suture placement. We employ a camera and automated suturing technology for supra-annular valve implant. A RAM is performed via a 5 cm incision in the right second intercostal space with a camera port placed lateral to the incision. Peripheral venous cannulation is performed along with central arterial cannulation. Aortic cross clamp is placed through a 5 mm incision in the third interspace anterior to mid axillary line. Histidine tryptophan ketoglutarate (HTK) cardioplegia is administered. After aortic leaflet removal, annular and prosthetic sutures are placed with shafted instruments or with automated suturing technology. Aortic valve replacement can be performed safely through a RAM. The use of a camera and automated suturing technology facilitates this procedure, potentially enabling more surgeons to offer this less invasive approach to patients.