The number of women affected by valvular heart disease and the number of women with breast implants are both on the rise. Minimally invasive heart surgery using a limited thoracotomy offers many potential benefits including reduction in blood loss, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery time, decreased pain, and improved cosmesis. Minimally invasive heart surgery often requires access to the second, third, or fourth intercostal space of the anterior chest wall. The presence of a breast implant may interfere with the surgeon’s ability to gain adequate exposure for entry to the appropriate intercostal space. We present a case series of 5 women with breast implants who successfully underwent minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery.
A retrospective review was conducted of all patients with breast implants who underwent minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery at the University of Southern California University Hospital. In each patient, an inframammary incision was performed, facilitating removal of the implant, performance of the cardiac operation, and reimplantation of the implant.
Five women with breast implants who underwent minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery were identified; of these, 4 (80%) patients underwent repair of the mitral valve for mitral regurgitation, whereas 1 (20%) underwent an aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. Two patients underwent a concomitant maze procedure for atrial fibrillation during the same operation. The median follow-up time was 7.4 months, and the follow-up period ranged from 2 to 12 months. There were no significant postoperative complications such as infection, hematoma, or need for reoperation.
Our series of 5 patients demonstrates that minimally invasive heart surgery performed through an inframammary incision can be safely performed in those with breast implants.