Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement surgery through lower half sternotomy

James R. Fenton, John R. Doty


Less invasive approaches to aortic valve surgery frequently rely upon the development of new technology and instrumentation. While not suitable for every patient requiring an aortic valve procedure, these less invasive operations can offer certain clinical benefits and are becoming an important part of the modern cardiothoracic surgeon’s skillset. A lower partial sternotomy approach provides excellent visualization of the operative field, efficient execution of the operation and many of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. Importantly, the lower partial sternotomy requires no new or unusual instruments and presents a familiar view to the surgeon. The technique, therefore, lends itself well to being adapted and utilized quickly with a potentially shorter “learning curve” for maximal surgical flexibility and patient benefit.