Small Incision Heart Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgery (also called keyhole surgery) is when a conventional operation is performed on or inside the heart using small incisions. The surgeon also sometimes uses specialized instruments.

Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive or Robotic Surgery?

There are many ways to reach the heart for surgery. Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic always try to use the smallest incision to provide the safest and most successful surgery. Your surgical team will carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of minimally invasive techniques with those of traditional surgery techniques. Your surgeon will decide the best approach for you based on several factors, including the type or heart disease you have and how severe it is; your age, medical history and lifestyle; and results of tests done before surgery.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Small incisions
  • Small scars

Most patients also have

  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay after surgery
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Lower risk of bleeding and blood transfusion
  • Shorter recovery time and faster return to normal activities/work

Reviewed: 08/15