Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery
Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery at Fletcher Allen
Minimally invasive mitral valve repair or replacement is performed through a 2.5-3 inch incision placed in the upper front part of the right chest wall. The incision allows direct access to the heart through the ribs without the need to disrupt the integrity of the chest wall. This replaces the traditional approach which is performed through a 10 inch incision in the front of the chest that also includes complete splitting of the breast bone.
Because this approach does not involve cutting of the ribs or the breast bone, there are no functional restrictions after surgery other than avoiding strenuous use of the upper body for several weeks to allow the incision itself to heal. The minimally invasive technique is associated with:
- less blood loss
- fewer transfusions
- shorter hospitals stays
- and faster return to function.
Read about Mitral Valve Surgery in our Health Library:
- Mitral Valve Regurgitation
- Should I Repair or Replace My Mitral Valve
- Heart Valve Replacement Surgery: Minimally Invasive Methods