The mitral valve is a one-way valve made up of two leaflets that conducts blood flow from the lung through the left ventricle of the heart. In fact, the mitral valve is the most commonly repaired heart valve. However the most common surgical approach to the mitral valve is to have the surgeon saw open the breastbone and spread the edges to gain direct access to the heart.
Mini-mitral repair is one of two minimally-invasive alternatives available (the other being robotic mitral repair).
A mini-mitral repair uses a “mini-thoracotomy” which consists of a three-inch incision made through the right side of your chest between your ribs. The heart-lung bypass, required to stop your heart long enough for the surgeon to close the defect, is instituted with small tubes placed in the main artery and vein of your right leg through a one to two inch incision placed in the right groin crease. Your heart will then be stopped and the right atrium opened to expose the ASD. At this point, the surgeon will insert specialized hand-held “chopstick” like instruments through the incision to repair the defect. Once the defect is repaired, your heart will be closed and restarted. You will be disconnected from the heart-lung bypass and the incision will be closed.