Key Information to Know


Dr. Gre Ribakove Performing Surgery.Why Choose Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery results in less trauma, blood loss and pain, as well as minimal scarring. This translates into a quicker recovery and less stress on the patient. 

Although standard open-heart surgery achieves excellent outcomes,  it requires a median sternotomy (separating the breastbone), to access the heart. The sternotomy is recognized as one of the most traumatic aspects of cardiac surgery, significantly affecting recovery time and complication risks. Your condition may not lend itself to minimally invasive techniques, but to explore all the options, you need to consult a surgeon who has expertise in both minimally invasive techniques and in open-heart surgery.

Mitral Valve Surgery - Exploring the Options of Repair vs. Replacement
If the patient's situation allows, it is often preferable to repair a valve. A well performed mitral valve repair is superior to prosthetic replacement. But again, few surgeons have an expertise in repair and this may limit your options. Consult with a physician who has experience in both repair and replacement. 

Reviewing All the Options with a Patient 

Today, minimally invasive cardiac surgery is usually performed only at high volume medical centers specializing in these techniques. As with many surgical techniques, success rates are higher at centers with high levels of experience and volume. For the patient to have all their options available to them they need to discuss their case with a surgeon who has substancial experience in minimally invasive techniques. Our surgeons not only have the greatest combined experience in minimally invasive techniques, they will consult with patients to determine the best course of action.

Direct Access to Your Surgeon Every Step of the Way

Our patients benefit from direct access to surgeons at every stage of the process. Beginning with the initial consult, surgeons hold detailed discussions with patients and loved ones to determine the most appropriate treatment plan. They are available for questions throughout the process. They understand that this is a crucial time, that needs compassion and availability. Our surgeons visit patients daily throughout the patient’s hospital stay, ensuring continuity of care. 

A team of Cardiac Institute Doctors performing srugery.A Team Approach...Starting with Your Surgeon
When a patient comes to the Heart & Vascular Center for heart surgery, they get more then the finest surgeon, they get an exceptional cardiac team. From those who handle the initial diagnostic tests, to the cardiac anesthesiologists, to the nurses who assist in the operating room, ICU and stepdown units, and finally to the cardiac rehabilitation team. This health care team cares for the patient during their treatment as do the office staff that ensures the patients calls are answered, insurance questions are handled and followup appointments are coordinated.