Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Patients from across the region come to Overlake for minimally invasive surgeries that repair heart conditions, often with fewer risks and faster recoveries than traditional surgery.
In open-heart surgery, doctors create a large incision and cut through the breastbone to access the heart. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery aims to reduce risks and side effects, and accelerate recovery. Sometimes this means guiding instruments through small incisions instead of doing open-heart surgery. Other times, it means performing open-heart surgery in a less invasive way.
This enables some patients to leave the hospital sooner and get better faster. It also makes it possible for us to repair heart issues in some patients who might not be strong or healthy enough to undergo traditional surgery.
At Overlake, patients have access to top experts in minimally invasive techniques, including cardiac catheterization. We consider minimally invasive options whenever we evaluate a patient, and the majority of our surgeries on mitral and tricuspid valves are done with minimally invasive approaches. Most patients can get back to their normal activities within three to four weeks.
Conditions we treat
We perform more minimally invasive cardiac surgeries than almost any other center in the region. We can use minimally invasive techniques to address a range of heart conditions, including:
- Mitral valve insufficiency and regurgitation, which occur when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close completely. This lets blood flow backward through the valve.
- Mitral valve stenosis, which causes a valve to narrow. This restricts blood flow inside the heart.
- Atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart failure and other issues.
- Atrial septal defects, which occur when there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. These defects are usually present at birth, but sometimes aren’t repaired until later in life.
- Tricuspid valve insufficiency, which occurs when the heart’s tricuspid valve doesn’t close fully. This allows backflow of blood into the heart.
Treatments and Services
We offer a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures, including:
- Transcatheter edge-to-edge repair, which is used to repair mitral valve regurgitation. For this procedure, our team places a clip (called the MitraClip) on the mitral valve to help improve blood flow.
- Transcatheter mitral valve replacement, where catheters are used to guide a new valve into the heart instead of open-heart surgery.
- Atrial clip, a procedure that addresses the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation by closing off the atrial appendage, a small sac where blood can pool and clot inside the heart.
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a diseased or damaged aortic valve.
- Tricuspid valve repair and replacement, where we help one of the heart’s key valves get back to normal function.
- Atrial septal defect repair, where we close a hole between the upper chambers of the heart.
Options for patients who aren’t candidates for open-heart surgery
One of the biggest benefits of certain minimally invasive approaches is that they can make it possible to repair heart problems in some patients who might not be able to endure open heart surgery. Sometimes, minimally invasive procedures enable us to repair heart problems in these patients and help them lead longer, healthier lives, with far fewer surgery risks. At Overlake, we have used minimally invasive surgery to help many patients who aren’t good candidates for traditional heart surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can anyone have minimally invasive heart surgery?
A: We recommend minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. However, there are times when minimally invasive surgery is not the best option. We carefully evaluate each patient and work with you to select surgery that gives you the best opportunity for a good outcome.
Q: What are the risks of minimally invasive heart surgery?
A: Any heart surgery carries risk. These include:
- Problems with heart rhythm.
- Blood clots.
At Overlake, we have some of the region’s best heart surgery outcomes and our expertise helps us keep risks to an absolute minimum. Your care team will discuss these risks with you, answer all your questions and explain the steps we take to keep you safe.