Right anterior mini-thoracotomy and sutureless valves: the perfect marriage
Background: A minimally invasive approach (MIA) reduces mortality and morbidity in patients referred for aortic valve replacement (AVR). Sutureless technology facilitates a MIA. We describe our experience with the sutureless Perceval (LivaNova, Italy) aortic bioprosthesis through a right anterior mini-thoracotomy (RAMT) approach.
Methods: Between March 2011 and October 2019, 1,049 patients underwent AVR with Perceval bioprosthesis. Five hundred and three patients (48%) were operated through a RAMT approach in the second intercostal space. Considering only isolated AVR (881), 98% of patients were operated with MIA, and Perceval in RAMT approach was performed in 57% of these patients. Eight patients (1.6%) had previously undergone cardiac surgery. The prosthesis sizes implanted were: S (n=91), M (n=154), L (n=218) and XL (n=40). Concomitant procedures were mitral valve surgery (n=6), tricuspid valve repair (n=1), mitral valve repair and tricuspid valve repair (n=1) and miectomy (n=2). Mean age was 78±4 years (range, 65–89 years), 317 patients were female (63%) and EuroSCORE II was 5.9%±8.4%.
Results: The 30-day mortality was 0.8% (4/503). Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and aortic cross-clamp times were 81.6±30.8 and 50.3±24.5 minutes respectively for stand-alone procedures. In two patients, early moderate paravalvular leakage appeared as a result of incomplete expansion of the sutureless valve due to oversizing of the bioprosthesis, requiring reoperations at two and nine postoperative days with sutured aortic bioprosthesis implantation. Permanent pacemaker implantation within the first thirty days was necessary in 26 (5.2%) patients. At the mean follow-up of 4.6 years (range, 1 month to 8.6 years), survival was 96%, freedom from reoperation was 99.2%, and mean transvalvular pressure gradient was 11.9±4.3 mmHg.
Conclusions: AVR with the Perceval bioprosthesis in a RAMT approach is a safe and feasible procedure associated with low mortality and excellent hemodynamic performance. Sutureless technology facilitates a RAMT approach.