Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery

Overview

Minimally invasive heart surgery involves making small incisions in the right side of the chest to reach the heart between the ribs, rather than cutting through the breastbone, as is done in open-heart surgery.

Minimally invasive heart surgery can be done to treat a variety of heart conditions. Compared with open-heart surgery, this type of surgery might mean less pain and a quicker recovery for many people.

How you prepare

Before minimally invasive heart surgery, your doctor and treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after the surgery and potential risks of the surgery.

Your doctor and team will discuss concerns you have about your surgery. Your doctor or another member of your treatment team might discuss with you advance directives or other information to consider prior to your surgery.

You may need to have your hair shaved at the areas of your body where the procedure will take place. Your skin might be washed with special soap to reduce the risk of infection.

Before being admitted to the hospital for your surgery, talk to your family about your hospital stay and discuss help you might need when you return home. Your doctor and treatment team will give you instructions to follow during your recovery when you return home.

Food and medications

Talk to your doctor about:

  • When you can take your regular medications and whether you can take them before your surgery
  • At what time you should stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery

Clothing and personal items

Your treatment team might recommend bringing several items to the hospital, including:

  • A list of your medications
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures
  • Personal care items, such as a brush, comb, shaving equipment and toothbrush
  • Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
  • A copy of your advance directive
  • Items that might help you relax, such as a portable music player or books

During surgery, avoid wearing:

  • Jewelry
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Dentures
  • Nail polish

Precautions regarding medications and allergies

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Medications you have brought to the hospital and when you should take medications on the day of the procedure
  • Allergies or reactions you have had to medications