Miami Minimally Invasive Valves
Joseph Lamelas, MD
Dedicated to the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Posts tagged as heart surgery

There are many ways to repair a mitral valve and I have always liked the “tool box” concept.  In other words, I think that you have to be prepared to use different techniques, for similar pathologies, in different patients.  I think that you cannot resort to only one technique to repair all valves. Not all valves are created equally.

I have been using the loop technique now for all anterior leaflet repairs and occasionally for posterior leaflet repairs. I know that everyone has there own concepts and tricks on using loops. I think that for the anterior leaflet the loops should be in front of the papillary muscles and for the posterior leaflet the loops should be behind them.  The trick here is that the loops need to be positioned between the chords when they are being attached to the posterior leaflet. I think that this concept is more anatomical from a chordal standpoint. The mitral collar provides unimpeded visualization of the entire infra-valvular apparatus. Furthermore, a mini-thoracotomy approach provides direct in-line, truly anatomical visualization of the mitral valve.

I would be interested in what others think.

1. The first picture shows the loops to the anterior leaflet positioned to the anterior aspect of the papillary muscle. The posterior loops are behind the papillary muscle and are tied anterior to the papillary muscle. The tied knot to the posterior loops is visualized anteriorly.

2. The second picture shows the posterior loops behind the papillary muscle and positioned between the individual chords. In other words, all the loops are not brought around the entire set of chords.

In some minimally invasive cases where the ascending aorta is replaced at the level of the STJ and the AV is sparred (not a David procedure, a supra-coronary replacement), I find it valuable to use 2 separate grafts. One segment of graft is initially anastomosed to the hemi -arch or the distal ascending aorta and the other segment of graft to the STJ.  These are then beveled and sewn together.  This 2 graft technique is especially helpful if the proximal anastomosis ( STJ) is far away.

 The technique that I have used to suture this proximal anastomosis entails inverting the proximal graft into the root and suturing it with a running suture. Once complete the small segment of graft is pulled from the root and there is a very hemostatic closure. The pictures below demonstrate the technique.


I have enclosed a link for a comprehensive video on a Minimally Invasive approach to treat both ischemic and non-ischemic mitral regurgitation.These patients usually have poor EF’s. dilated LV with an inter papillary muscle distance greater than 2.5cm.

Femoral cannulation is preferred unless there is significant PVD and therefore axillary cannulation would be performed.  This technique is performed via a 5-6cm right mini-thoracotomy incision.  Aortic cross clamping is performed directly through the incision. I have been using Del Nido cardioplegia on a more frequent basis and delivering repeat doses every 45-55 minutes.

After the heart is arrested and an the atriotomy is performed, I place an atrial lift device and a Visor to provide additional visibility.  Once I have decided to place the papillary muscle SLING, I will use a mitral collar to provide further visibility of the the infra valvular structures. I then utilize a long curved clamp or a specialized curved instrument (developed by Raul Martinez, Nurse in charge of our Cardiac Team) to encircle the papillary muscles. (It is very rare not to be able to encircle the papillary muscles. I have recently encountered one case that had the papillary muscles completed fused to the ventricular wall.)  It is important to use a 4mm Gortex graft and to place the graft around the trabecula to avoid it from slipping and choking the chordae.  Once the graft is completely around the papillary muscles, I utilize a 4-0 proline to approximate the ends of the graft together. The graft needs to be relatively tight. A reference that I use is to place a yankour suction between the approximated papillary muscles.  You should not be able to softly push the suction between the papillary muscles.  If so, it needs to be tightened further.  Once the SLING is in place, I then place the annular sutures.  I never down size the annuloplasty ring in these cases.  I will size the ring to the exact size of the anterior leaflet.

I truly believe that this is a very good solution to a very difficult problem.  Our short and mid term results have been very good.

Stay blogged and I will soon post our data on over 35 cases.