Minimally Invasive Heart Procedures
The idea of undergoing a heart procedure can be unsettling. Minimally invasive surgical procedures use smaller incisions and can be a good option for certain heart conditions. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute, our surgeons are nationally recognized for their expertise in performing minimally invasive heart surgery. Our cardiologists are experts in several minimally invasive heart procedures to treat a variety of serious, life threatening structural heart conditions.
Benefits of minimally invasive heart procedures
During a minimally invasive procedure, heart surgery takes place through small incisions in the chest or side. Because the chest isn’t cut open, there is less trauma and damage to muscle, tissue, and bone. The heart and lungs continue to function normally, so there’s no need for a heart-lung bypass machine.
We perform hundreds of lifesaving minimally invasive heart procedures every year with outstanding results. This approach offers several advantages compared to open-heart procedures, including:
- Faster return to daily activities
- Reduced blood loss
- Decreased risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Minimal scarring
- Less pain
Minimally invasive heart procedures at AHN: why choose us?
Minimally invasive heart procedures isn’t right for everyone. Your multi-disciplinary team will evaluate your individual situation to determine the best treatment option for you. We offer:
- Innovative heart valve procedures: Your physician inserts a thin, hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin (the femoral artery). Your physician may use the catheter to measure pressures in the heart and the amount of blood the heart pumps, drain fluid, inject dye to view on a specialized imaging angiogram , or place devices to treat heart conditions. We’re experts at minimally invasive treatments for heart valve disease, balloon valvuloplasty, Mitral clip, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries (VATS): Your physician uses a tiny camera called a thoracoscope to perform thoracic surgery in the chest and lungs via small incisions in the chest.
- Stroke prevention: The WATCHMAN™ Device lowers stroke risk in people with heart arrhythmias who can’t use blood thinners.
- Leading robotic technology: Our physicians perform precise robotic heart surgery through small incisions in the chest.
- Arrhythmia ablation: Our physicians perform ablation of supra- ventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation which is the most common arrhythmia. AHN physicians were the first in the region to perform ablations without using fluoroscopy or radiation.
- Intra-cardiac shunt closure: AHN physicians are experts at closure of intra-cardiac shunts, including patent foramen ovale (PFO), atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect (VSD), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
- Pulmonary balloon angioplasty: We ‘re the largest program in the region, and one of only 20 programs in the country performing this procedure for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
- Mechanical circulatory support: AHN Cardiovascular Institute surgeons and cardiologists can perform life sustaining procedures for cardiogenic shock using minimally invasive techniques