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"big zipper" vs. "minimally invasive"

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"big zipper" vs. "minimally invasive"

  • Complete sternotomy

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Partial Sternotomy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No sternotomy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Can't compare - the situation was too different.

    Votes: 1 33.3%

  • Total voters
    3

sarahsunshine

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I know there have been quite a few people asking here, but this post is purely out of curiosity. I have a firend who's son has had several open heart surgeries (poor kid is only 4), and she claims that he has always healed faster from the "big zipper" than the "minimally invasive" surgeries. For those that have experienced both: What is your experience?
 

Mentu

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My surgery was performed at Oklahoma Heart Institu
Sarah, it takes about three weeks for the incision to heal after a sternotomy. That is pretty much true for all wounds. The longer term issue is how the sternum heals which takes about 12 weeks. It seems to me that this is an issue best discussed with the surgeon while keeping in mind that you want the surgeon to have all the field of view needed during the surgery. For this, my surgeon said the sternotomy is best.

Larry
 

Luana

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Define minimally invasive. Not all VR surgeries are done with a sternotomy.
 

offwego

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east coast
There is something that just sounds 'nicer' and less violent when having open heart surgery to say it's 'minimally invasive'. It's hard to pass up the chance to have such a surgery. my first MV repair was done minimally invasive and the pain was much greater than the almost three week old full cut surgery.

It was suggested to do a full sternotomy 8 years ago but again, it was just harder to wrap my head around the idea. Even family members wanna hear about this new 'minimally invasive' thing...makes it easier for everyone in a way.

My cardiologist requested the surgical notes from my re repair so that we will know exactly what went wrong and why the first repair didn't hold up. I do know according to the surgeon, this re repair was 'simple' and the re repair was 'perfect'...I am guessing a suture came loose or something ..."simple"..

Of course this is just one experience...But I had much more pain from the minimally invasive surgery...no comparison...and the pain lasted a long time...I had discomfort with a seatbelt over the area for well over a year...
 

Greg a

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Sarah be careful in that there is another factor and that is experience ..........I would want full sternotomy to give the surgeon plenty of room to work with and right now London Health Sciences is one of the few in Canada that I would feel right about robotics.
 

offwego

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Location
east coast
I wanna add something...When I met my surgeon (Dr. Aubrey Galloway) of NYU, I felt to an extent that many of my questions were really superfluous, not to say they weren't valid...Valve choice if a replacement were necessary..

I also remember asking Dr. Colvin (his partner) about minimally invasive approach...He practically laughed in my face and said it was the same thing...compared it to going into a room through the ceiling as opposed to through a wall.

The vast majority of mitral valve repairs at Cleveland Clinic are done minimally invasive.

Even with my experiences, if i were seeing a truly top notch surgeon, I'd go with what he suggested. And even though my minimally invasive approach were more painful, if Dr. Galloway felt it were the way to go, that's what I would do.
 

DanielB

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Dec 13, 2010
Messages
254
Location
San Diego, CA, USA
I too asked my surgeon about this, asking 'which gives you the best access to do your best work?' he quickly replied ' I can do both, but the full sternotomy gives me the best access, giving me the easiest path to do my work'. That was enough for me to go full sternomy iregardless of healing gains a partial may have. I can't say how a partial would be healing, but, three weeks into my recovery from a full sternotomy, I can say it's not that bad.

Dan
 

Clapper

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Nov 2, 2011
Messages
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Location
Melbourne Australia
Am I getting towards the longest living Mitral Valve replacement.http://www.valverepl

Am I getting towards the longest living Mitral Valve replacement.http://www.valverepl

The think that gets me is I had no choice my regurgitating mitral valve was a calcified bit of crap that I needed removed from my body. I have several small bits of calcium in my frontal lobe that suggest mini strokes so I needed a new valve and I thank St Jude for coming up with the goods. That was eight years ago it still ticks hard enough for people to hear but its good to be alive. I got my new valve at age 49 and I would like to know about the longest living Mitral Valve replacement. http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/images/smilies/smile2.gif
 

Bina

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East Ontario, Canada
Sarah, I had the full crack and had a ton of pain in my ribs afterwards. The actual sternum bone didn't hurt though.
 

Kathy McCain

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Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
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Location
Texas
I have had only one surgery so far, which was done minimally invasive through the sternum. My incision is no longer than 3inches. I took over a year to feel normal againthough.
 

Luana

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There is something that just sounds 'nicer' and less violent when having open heart surgery to say it's 'minimally invasive'.
I was not the least bit concerned about how something sounded. Doesn't matter too much where you're cut; you're cut. Since I've never had a broken bone before I wasn't real thrilled about having my sternum broken.

A small thoracotomy left me with hardly any pain, driving 2 weeks after surgery, not needing to sleep in a recliner (which I don't have or want), and not feeling like I was run over by a truck after surgery.
 

offwego

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east coast
There is an infommercial on that I saw the other day for the Staten Island Hospital...I forget which name...the infomercial was dedicated to heart surgery and minimally invasive approach. I was in shock at the mis information being touted. It was interesting to hear patients talk how they weren't able to drive for months after tradition heart surgery!

I've had both surgeries. I know what it 'felt' like to hear the happy news that it would be a 'minimally invasive' surgery..It sounded just so much more palatable to me and to my family and friends who undoubtedly would always mention, "Yes, but it was 'minimally invasive", right?

As someone who has had both (and I don't say this to unduly influence anyone as each person might react differently) but I ignored the doctors who suggested a traditional surgery might yield a better outcome and when Dr. Colvin of NYU scoffed at the idea it made any difference, I marched into surgery expecting maximum recovery from minimal surgery. The truth was far different.

Again, I not only have no opinion on which is better and if I had to do it all over again, I would probably STILL go for the warm and fuzzy sounding minimal invasive surgery...but my experience was that the recovery from minimal invasive surgery was much more painful. On a large magnitude.

After this recent full cut surgery, I was able to sleep on my side or stomach within two days..it hurt a little but nothing like it did from the other surgery. I should add the surgeon who performed the surgery helped invent a ring used in minimally invasive surgery, yet he felt a full cut surgery would be better for me...and he was able to fully repair the mitral Valve after suggesting he doubted he could.

I can't really say why this surgery has been so much easier to recover from. I doubt it's just about the style of cut..

But I am a bit resentful when I see infomercials touting minimally invasive surgery as if it's pain free and simple. My experience was that it was on an order of hundreds of percent more painful...and yeah it's quite a scar at three weeks out.

Lastly I guess this is as good a thread as any to use caution when giving advice as our words can and often do carry much power to particularly new members...I'm careful to frame my experiences as purely personal...and that each person might react differently.

I felt run over by a truck after minimally invasive surgery...a large truck...three weeks ago I felt like I got hit by a truck again...albeit a smaller one..:cool:
 

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