Miami Minimally Invasive Valves
Joseph Lamelas, MD
Dedicated to the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
May 18, 2013
Obese Patients Benefit from Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

I constantly hear that obese patients are not candidates for Minimally Invasive Surgery.  I truly believe that these are the ones that benefit the most. They ambulate sooner  due to improved chest wall stability. Physical therapy as well as pulmonary toilet is facilitated. In addition, the risk of sternal complications does not exist. I also have heard that the CT scan is essential in determining who is a candidate for a minimally invasive AVR. This is NOT true. I have enclosed a CT scan on a patient that I recently operated upon.( I do not order CT scans, but since she was being evaluated for a TAVR, it was performed).  As you can clearly see, her aorta on the the left side of the chest. Some would say that this is a contraindication. Some even draw a line from the mid portion of the sternum and trace it back to the spine. If the aorta is to the left, then this is an exclusion criteria for a mini AVR. This is absolutely WRONG!!!  In my experience, if the heart is further away from the chest wall, the visualization will be better. I have operated on many very obese patients, and the surgery has been easier than in some very slender patients. 

This is an 83 y/o very obese ,wheelchair bound, O2 dependent female with multiple hematologic problems (which excluded her from being Corevalve candidate) as well as pulmonary issues and an IVC filter which was crossed with the 25 Fr. Biomedicus venous cannula. (FYI, I have been able to cross all but one of 12 Vena cava filters!)DSCN8607DSCN8628 DSCN8571 DSCN8576 DSCN8619who have critical AS. 

2 thoughts on “Obese Patients Benefit from Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery”

  1. Marc Sakwa says:

    I completely concur. I never get CT scans anymore and I believe obesity is not a contraindication. My experience would also show that these patients do extremely well with less morbidity. Experience with MIVS is essential in making these judgements.

  2. I never get CT’s. Every CT I look at makes me think the aortic valve is too far away. The reality is the pericardial sutures if placed well can bring the valve to your incision. Like Joe says “every exposure leads to the next exposure.” One can’t give up from the outset. My biggest patient so far was 400lbs, a sternotomy would have been a rehab nightmare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *