What is Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery?

Traditional Vs Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

In traditional open heart surgery, the heart is reached by cutting open the chest and dividing the breast bone. This median sternotomy approach requires a 10-12 inch incision through the sternal bone.  In minimally invasive heart surgery, major incisions are no longer needed and the breastbone does not need to be divided, dramatically reducing the traumatic impact of the operation.

NYU heart surgeons can access the heart through a small 4 inch incision between the ribs, heart repairs are performed using special elongated instruments and viewing scopes. As a result, patients recover more quickly, experience less pain, and suffer fewer complications.     

Another approach is "off-pump" or "beating-heart" surgery. With this technique certain areas of the heart are immobilized with cardiac stabilizers, allowing the heart to continue beating during the heart surgery and avoiding the need for the heart-lung machine. 

NYU cardiac surgeons have achieved an unmatched, research-based level of experience and skill in minimally invasive surgery and will tailor the heart surgery based on the unique needs and condition of the patient.