Objective: Minimally invasive surgery through an upper hemisternotomy for aortic valve replacement has become the routine approach with excellent results. Actually, the same minimally invasive access is used for complex ascending aorta procedures only in few centers. We report our experience with minimally invasive approach for aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement using Bentall technique.
Methods: From January 2010 to November 2015, a total of 238 patients received ascending aorta and aortic valve replacement using Bentall De Bono procedure at our institution. Low- and intermediate-risk patients underwent elective surgery with a minimally invasive approach. The “J”-shaped partial upper sternotomy was performed through a 6-cm skin incision from the notch to the third right intercostal space. Patients who had previous cardiac surgery or affected by active endocarditis were excluded. The study included 53 patients, 44 male (83 %) with a median age of 63 years [interquartile range (IQR), 51–73 years]. A bicuspid aortic valve was diagnosed in 27 patients (51%).
Results: A biological Bentall using a pericardial Mitroflow or Crown bioprosthesis implanted in a Valsalva graft was performed in 49 patents. The remaining four patients were treated with a traditional mechanical conduit. Median cardiopulmonary bypass time and median cross-clamp time were respectively 84 (IQR, 75–103) minutes and 73 (IQR, 64–89) minutes. Hospital mortality was zero as well as 30-day mortality. Median intensive care unit and hospital stay were 1.9 and 8 days, respectively. The study population compared with patients treated with standard full sternotomy and similar preoperative characteristics showed similar results in terms of postoperative outcomes with a slightly superiority of minimally invasive group mainly regarding operative times, incidence of atrial fibrillation, and postoperative ventilation times.
Conclusions: A partial upper sternotomy is considered a safe option for aortic valve replacement. Our experience confirms that a minimally invasive approach using a partial upper J-shaped sternotomy can be a safe alternative approach to the standard in selected patients presenting with complex aortic root pathology.
From the Departments of *Cardiovascular Surgery and †Cardiology, Maria Cecilia Hospital, GVM Care & Research, Cotignola, Ravenna, Italy; and ‡ES Health Science Foundation, Cotignola, Ravenna, Italy.
Accepted for publication November 30, 2016.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Elisa Mikus, MD, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Maria Cecilia Hospital, GVM Care & Research, Via Corriera 1, 48033 Cotignola, Ravenna, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com.