Overview

If you have advanced mitral or tricuspid valve disease, minimally invasive surgery approaches can get you back to health.

The Orlando Health Heart Valve Center team specializes in minimally invasive approaches — which can reduce your risk and speed recovery. We’ll help determine the most effective treatment for you and your unique needs.

Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery?

If you have certain illnesses – such as kidney disease, a past stroke or heart attack, blood clots or lung disease – open surgery can often be too risky. In addition, advanced age or frailty can also make open-heart surgery less appropriate. Your doctor will evaluate which treatment approach is right for you.

Types of Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

When you undergo minimally invasive surgery, depending on the severity of your damaged mitral or tricuspid valve, you may have it repaired, replaced or a combination of both. Types of minimally invasive surgeries include:

  • Valve repair – During this procedure, surgeons may remove calcium deposits and damaged tissue, or reinforce weak areas. They may also reshape or rebuild flaps (leaflets) that open and close the valve. If you have ring annuloplasty, doctors will attach a device ¬made of plastic, cloth or tissue, around the valve to strengthen flaps. With valvuloplasty, surgeons will place a balloon-tipped catheter into a blood vessel in your leg, which is then threaded into your heart and across the valve. The balloon is then inflated to open a narrowed valve.
  • Valve replacement – During this procedure, surgeons may use a balloon or other techniques to implant a new valve. In some instances, therapy includes MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement or Repair (TMVR). Types of valves include mechanical (made of plastic, metal or ceramic), which last longer, but require blood-thinning medicine to prevent clots. Tissue valves (made from human or animal tissue) may be replaced every 12 to 15 years, but usually don’t require blood thinners.
  • Hybrid surgery – In certain instances, our surgeons combine open and minimally invasive approaches, performed in fully equipped hybrid surgical suites.

What to Expect if You Have Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

Before surgery, you will be given general anesthesia, which allows you to sleep through the procedure and not feel any pain. Once you are asleep, your surgeon will make one or more small holes in your chest or leg, and operate through the cuts using a camera and special surgical tools (endoscopic surgery).

If a chest approach is used, your surgeon will make a small cut in the right part of your chest near your sternum (breastbone). Depending on your procedure, doctors may connect you to a heart-lung machine, which supports your heart and breathing during surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures usually have a short recovery time of two or three days. Before discharge, you’ll receive individualized instructions about medications or other steps for your recovery.

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Minimally Invasive Approaches to Mitral or Tricuspid Valve Surgery

The Orlando Health Heart Valve Center team specializes in minimally invasive approaches — which can reduce your risk and speed recovery. We’ll help determine the most effective treatment for you and your unique needs.