Ministernotomy compared with right anterior minithoracotomy for aortic valve surgery

Massimo Bonacchi*, Aleksander Dokollari, Orlando Parise, Guido Sani, Edvin Prifti, Gianluigi Bisleri, Sandro Gelsomino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Ministernotomy and right anterior minithoracotomy are the 2 main techniques applied for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement. The goal of this study is to compare early and long-term outcomes of both techniques.

METHODS: The data of 2419 patients undergoing isolated minimally invasive aortic valve replacement between 1999 and 2019 were prospectively collected. Retrospectively, patients were divided into the ministernotomy group (n = 1352) and the minithoracotomy group (n = 1067).

RESULTS: After propensity score matching, 986 patients remained in each group. Operation time and rate of conversion to full sternotomy were significantly higher in the minithoracotomy group than in the ministernotomy group (184.6 ± 45.2 vs 241.3 ± 68.6, relative risk, 2.54, P = .005 and .09 vs .23, relative risk, 1.45, P = .013, respectively). The 30-day mortality, excluding cardiac death, was lower in the ministernotomy group than in the minithoracotomy group (0.012 vs 0.028, relative risk, 1.41, P = .011, respectively); the intensive care unit length of stay (12.4 vs 16.5, relative risk, 1.62, P = .037, respectively) and hospital length of stay (5.4 vs 8.7, relative risk, 1.74 P = .028, respectively) were significantly longer in the minithoracotomy group. The minithoracotomy surgical approach was the strongest independent predictor of early mortality (odds ratio, 4.24 [1.67-7.35], P = .002). The actuarial survival by Kaplan-Meier analysis at 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 years was significantly better in the ministernotomy group than in the minithoracotomy group (P = .0001). Actuarial freedom from reoperation at 5 years was 97.3% ± 4.4% in the ministernotomy group versus 95.8% ± 5.2% in the minithoracotomy group (P = .087).

CONCLUSIONS: Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement using ministernotomy is associated with reduced operative time, intensive care unit stay, hospital length of stay, and postoperative morbidities and incisional pain, and improves early and long-term mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1032.e2
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date23 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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