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What is Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery?

Cardiac surgeons access the heart through small incisions in the right and left chest walls. By accessing the heart from the side of the chest, surgeons avoid having to split the breastbone (sternotomy).

Avoiding sternotomy reduces pain and recovery time for most patients, enabling them to resume normal daily activities sooner. Minimally invasive surgery also leaves smaller, less-noticeable scars than open heart surgery, has a lower risk of infection, and may involve less blood loss.