Designing innovative retractors and devices to facilitate mitral valve repair surgery
Various devices have been developed to facilitate mitral valve surgery, including those that improve mitral valve exposure and assist surgeons with associated procedures. Choosing appropriate supporting devices when performing minimally invasive mitral valve surgery (MIMVS) through a minithoracotomy with endoscopic assistance is critical. Depending on the surgeon’s preference, trans-thoracic or trans-working-port left atrial retractors can be utilized. Although the trans-thoracic retractors provide a simple and orderly working space around the minithoracotomy working port, the positioning of the shaft is difficult and there is an implicit risk of chest wall bleeding. On the other hand, the trans-working-port type provides excellent exposure, is easily handled and manipulated, and facilitates surgeries involving various anatomical structures without special training. A great deal of understanding and knowledge about retractors is necessary to achieve the optimal exposure required to facilitate surgical techniques, and to maintain a reproducible and safe surgical system during mitral valve surgery.