What is minimally invasive heart surgery?

Minimally invasive heart surgery is our go-to approach, allowing the specialists on the medical staff of Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano to perform complex cardiovascular surgeries without the need for open-heart surgery.

Open-heart surgery usually includes making a very large incision down the middle of the chest. This consists of a full cut through the breastbone, which often takes 12 or more weeks to heal. Another surgical alternative is minimally invasive "keyhole" surgery. It involves creating a small incision (keyhole) in the side of the chest where minimally invasive heart surgeons pass through small surgical instruments to correct valve disease, coronary artery disease and congenital heart defects.

The potential benefits of minimally invasive cardiac surgery at our heart hospitals may include:

  • Reduced trauma and pain, along with less tissue damage
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Decreased wound infection, with no sternal (breastbone) wound
  • Improvement in morbidity and mortality
  • An ideal option for repeat cardiac surgery
  • Reduced recovery time and quicker return to normal activities
  • A better cosmetic result with reduced scarring
  • Decreased hospital length of stay
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • No weight restrictions after recovery from surgery

Connect with a coordinator today to learn if a minimally invasive cardiac surgery is right for you.

Call 469.814.3278 for next steps

Heart conditions treated

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our surgical team specializes in treating the following conditions with minimally invasive heart surgery near you.

Aortic valve stenosis

This condition, known as calcific aortic valve stenosis, causes narrowing of your heart’s aortic valve opening, which the transcatheter aortic valve replacement method (TAVR) can effectively treat. The TAVR operation is a relatively new minimally invasive aortic valve operation used for aortic valve failure and leak repair. The cardiac interventionalists on our medical staff have performed more than a thousand heart valve repairs using the TAVR method and achieved tremendous outcomes, including complication rates below the national average and shorter hospital stays for guests. In fact, minimally invasive heart surgeons on our medical staff helped pioneer this heart valve procedure and made significant contributions to research that helps make it more effective and widespread.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib)

Many patients with AFib, or an irregular heart rhythm, are candidates for minimally invasive procedures such as maze surgery to restore a normal heart rhythm. For this procedure, the minimally invasive heart surgeon makes small cuts or burns in the atria. These cuts and burns prevent the spread of disorganized electrical signals and restore the heart to its normal rhythm.

Heart attack

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures often treat heart attacks. However, a CABG procedure is typically an invasive open-heart procedure that sometimes comes with complications. The heart surgeon removes a healthy artery or vein from your body and connects or grafts it to bypass the coronary artery’s blocked section. CABG can now be performed as a minimally invasive heart procedure for some patients, known as beating-heart surgery. There are two types: MIDCAB (minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass) and OPCAB (off-pump coronary artery bypass). In some cases, a patient may need an aortic valve replacement (AVR) combined with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The minimally invasive heart surgeons on our medical staff are highly experienced in this complex procedure known as CABG with AVR.

Mitral valve prolapse

This structural condition occurs when the heart’s mitral valve flaps are “floppy” and may not close tightly to help seal or open the heart valve normally. As a result, blood can leak from the ventricle back into the atrium. This backflow of blood is called mitral valve regurgitation and can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue and heart murmurs. Rather than performing open-heart surgery to repair the leaky valve, some patients are candidates for a minimally invasive mitral valve replacement procedure that involves making a small 4–6 cm incision on the right side of the chest.