Traditional Open-Heart Surgery vs Minimally Invasive - What's the Difference?

Published on August 17, 2017

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Traditional Open-Heart Surgery vs Minimally Invasive - What's the Difference?

With about half of all Americans at risk for heart disease, heart procedures are becoming more common. There’s a good chance you or a loved one will need a heart procedure someday. Fortunately, a less invasive option for a faster, easier recovery is available.

The days of an extensive recovery following heart surgery are gone for many patients. At Washington Adventist Hospital, minimally invasive heart surgery patients are surprised by how quickly they can return to their daily activities.

“After performing minimally invasive heart procedures for 20 years, we consider virtually every patient a candidate,” said Paul Massimiano, MD, a cardiac surgeon with Adventist Medical Group and director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

Unfortunately, heart patients sometimes miss out on these benefits because they are unaware of this option.

All patients who need heart surgery should consider whether a minimally invasive approach is right for them, Dr. Massimiano said.

Susan Says Minimally Invasive is the Way to Go

When Susan Joseph, 73, of Rockville, learned she needed heart surgery, she asked a friend who had the same heart problem for advice. Her friend, Stefanie Rothschild, of Bethesda, recommended talking to Dr. Massimiano about minimally invasive heart valve surgery.

“So, I went online and researched — I checked Hopkins and University of Maryland, and I called doctors in Baltimore,” Susan said. “The only place I could have this procedure was Washington Adventist.”

On Nov. 21, 2016, Dr. Massimiano performed Susan’s minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery, and three days later, she went home in time for Thanksgiving. She had very little pain and was back to caring for her grandkids in just two weeks.

Susan now tells anyone who needs heart surgery, “You need to go and check if you can have it done minimally invasively.”

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