Pulmonary valve replacement via left anterior minithoracotomy: Lessons learned and early experience

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Objective: Median sternotomy has been the standard for pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) in patients with free pulmonary regurgitation (PR) and right ventricular enlargement. With the introduction of transcatheter therapy, the search for an alternate to sternotomy is mandated. We present our early experience with a limited anterior left thoracotomy approach. Methods: We used a left anterior mini-thoracotomy in six male patients (15 ± 1.94 years of age) who developed progressive right ventricular enlargement due to chronic PR. Results: Primary diagnoses were tetralogy of Fallot in five patients and pulmonary atresia with an intact septum in another. Four patients had previous median sternotomy with transannular patch repair. The mean right ventricular end-diastolic volume index was 189 ± 27.13 ml/m2. The procedure was feasible in all patients. All patients had satisfactory adult size pulmonary bioprosthesis (25 or 27 mm valve), with a mean peak gradient of 18 ± 2.40 mmHg across the prosthesis at discharge. All patients were extubated intraoperatively at the end of the procedure and required no intraoperative transfusions. There were no early or late mortalities. Early morbidities included left hemidiaphragm paralysis in one patient, and re-sternotomy for prosthetic valve endocarditis in one. One patient required late reoperation for a common femoral artery pseudoaneurysm. Conclusions: Minimally invasive access for PVR is feasible in both primary and repeat settings, through a limited anterior left minithoracotomy in the absence of intracardiac shunts and the need for other concomitant cardiac procedures. Longer-term studies with a larger number of patients are needed to compare the efficacy of this approach to standard sternotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1305-1312
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • pulmonary atresia
  • pulmonary regurgitation
  • pulmonary valve replacement
  • tetralogy of Fallot

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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