Safeguards and pitfalls in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery
Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery has been established in many institutions worldwide. Appropriate indications and patient selection for this procedure must be based on a thorough understanding of its limitations and specific pitfalls. Particular risks can be minimized with careful attention to detail when planning and performing the surgery. The following chapter offers a stepwise description of the procedure; we point out particular advantages, discuss our rationale for certain steps, as well as focus on potential dangers of minimally invasive mitral valve surgery. Several graphics have also been provided to illustrate our approach and demonstrate important structural and anatomical concepts of the mitral valve apparatus.