Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Less invasive surgical techniques have transformed surgery in many fields, including cardiothoracic surgery. Smaller incisions mean less blood loss, less discomfort, a shorter hospital stay, and a faster recovery.
Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery specializes in many minimally invasive surgical techniques. In fact, our surgeons have pioneered many of these approaches.
Our surgeons specialize in:
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): This minimally invasive approach repairs or replaces a diseased heart valve by threading a catheter up to the heart through a blood vessel in the groin.
Weill Cornell surgeons were leaders in the clinical trials that established this technique’s effectiveness.
Mini-sternotomy or partial sternotomy: Many procedures, such as aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair/replacement, and aneurysm repair can be performed through a small incision and partial sternotomy. This is an alternative to traditional, “open-heart” surgery.
Endovascular stent-graft placement for aortic aneurysms (TEVAR and EVAR): Some patients needing an aneurysm repair may be good candidates for this type of minimally invasive surgery.
The surgeon threads a catheter into the aorta through a blood vessel in the patient's groin. A stent (metal or plastic tube) is guided through the catheter and placed at the site of the aneurysm, where it opens up and acts as a scaffold to support the walls of the aorta.
Weill Cornell was chosen as one of only two centers in the New York metropolitan area to use a new, FDA-approved device, which allows for more rapid recovery.
Robotic mitral valve surgery: The mitral valve can be repaired or replaced with the assistance of a robotic system. This procedure is done through a small incision in the skin
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG): The surgeon performs this procedure through a two- or three-inch incision between the ribs. Our surgeons conduct this operation using a specialized surgical robot and heart stabilizer developed by Weill Cornell surgeons. Some patients may have "off-pump" beating heart surgery that can be accomplished without the need for a heart-lung machine.
Percutaneous valve surgery: Percutaneous valve repair or replacement is a minimally
invasive approach that uses a catheter to repair or replace a diseased valve by threading a catheter up to the heart through a blood vessel in the groin. We are able to use this approach to replace mitral and aortic valves.
Weill Cornell surgeons were leaders in the clinical trials that established percutaneous valve surgery’s effectiveness.