Leaky or stenotic valves can lead to shortness of breath, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms and endocarditis (valve infection). At St. Luke's-Roosevelt, our surgeons offer the full range of valvular repair and replacement options through minimal access incisions.

Aortic Valve Surgery

Isolated aortic valve disease may occur from either stenosis or regurgitation and may be either acquired or congenital. Because the aortic valve is at the base of the aorta in the upper chest, it is possible to repair or replace it through a 6cm, incision which only divides a small portion of the breastbone. Patients report less post-operative pain and quicker recovery with this limited division of the breastbone. Studies have also shown that the limited incision is associated with fewer blood transfusions than the traditional full sternotomy.

Mitral Valve Surgery

Disease of the mitral valve can occur as a result of rheumatic heart disease, coronary artery disease, endocarditis or myxomatous degeneration (stretching and floppiness of the valve components). Using special techniques for cardiopulmonary bypass, it is possible to repair or replace the mitral valve through a small incision in the side, avoiding the need for division of the breastbone. This approach has led to quicker patient recovery, a superior cosmetic result and shorter hospital stays. With the addition of the robot this operation may soon be possible without any incisions.


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