Minimally Invasive Heart Procedures

The idea of undergoing open-heart surgery can be unsettling. That’s why interventional cardiology and surgery specializes in treating heart conditions using minimally invasive procedures. 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 and interventional cardiologists are nationally recognized for their expertise in performing minimally invasive heart surgery and interventional procedures.

Minimally invasive vs. open-heart surgery

During a minimally invasive heart surgery, the heart is accessed via small incisions made in the chest wall. By avoiding a full sternotomy (complete division of the breastbone), there is less trauma and damage to muscle, tissue, and bone. In some cases, the procedure can be performed without the need for a heart and 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:

  • Quicker return to daily activities.
  • Reduced blood loss.
  • Decreased risk of infection.
  • Shorter hospital stay.
  • Minimal scarring.
  • Less pain.

Minimally invasive heart surgery and treatment options

Minimally invasive heart procedures aren't right for everyone. Our multidisciplinary team consisting of cardiologists, surgeons, radiologists, and primary care physicians, will evaluate your individual situation to determine the best treatment option for you. We offer:

Innovative heart valve procedures

We offer expertise in minimally invasive treatments for valvular disease, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), MitraClip™ mitral valve repair, and balloon valvuloplasty. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure for heart valve replacement. Your physician inserts a thin, hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin or upper body, through which a new valve is delivered. MitraClip™ is another catheter-based procedure used to repair a leaking heart valve. Balloon valvuloplasty is performed by our interventional cardiologists, using a balloon to open up a narrowed heart valve. We also participate in a number of clinical trials, which allow us to offer our patients access to cutting-edge technology for minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries (VATS)

Your physician uses small incisions in the chest wall and a tiny camera called a thoracoscope to perform surgery on the heart.

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair

This is a catheter-based procedure where a stent is delivered through the artery in your groin to repair an injured or aneurysmal (dilated) aorta.

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 robotic heart surgery for heart valve replacement and repair through small incisions in the chest.

Arrhythmia ablation AFIB treatment

Our physicians perform ablation of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia. AHN physicians were the first in the region to perform ablations without using fluoroscopy or radiation as an atrial fibrillation treatment option.

Intracardiac shunt closure

AHN physicians are experts at closure of intracardiac shunts, including patent foramen ovale (PFO), atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect (VSD), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

Pulmonary balloon angioplasty

Specializing in pulmonary hypertension treatment, we are 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.

Contact us

No referral

If you do not have a referral for a minimally invasive heart surgery, call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to schedule an appointment with a general cardiologist to be evaluated if this kind of procedure is needed.

Scheduling a procedure

If you have a referral for a minimally invasive heart surgery, contact the team at the facility where you want to have the procedure completed:

Allegheny General Hospital
320 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(412) 359-8820

Forbes Hospital
2570 Haymaker Road
Monroeville, PA 15146

(412) 858-7088

Jefferson Hospital
565 Coal Valley Road
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025

(412) 469-7900

Saint Vincent Hospital
232 West 25th Street
Erie, PA 16544

(814) 453-7767

WATCHMAN™ is a trademark of Boston Scientific Corporation and is used with permission.

MitraClip™ is a trademark of Abbott and is used with permission.