During the valve surgery, the patient must be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which keeps blood flowing through the body during the procedure. In minimally invasive valve surgery, the tubes of the heart-lung machine are inserted through a blood vessel in the groin, with the aid of a 2-inch incision.
After the procedure, you must spend a day or more in the intensive care unit (ICU), receiving fluids, medication, and nutrition through an intravenous line. The total amount of time that you need to stay in the hospital is three to four days on average, depending on your individual condition.
Your Sheba team will monitor your condition and watch for any signs of infection in the incision sites. We will help to manage any postoperative pain that you may experience. After you are discharged from the hospital, you will need regular follow-up exams and testing. Your doctor may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation to help you strengthen your heart. In most cases, the outcome of minimally invasive valve surgery is excellent, and patients report significant improvements in their overall health.
Who is a candidate?
Not every patient is a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery. Sheba’s doctors will meet with you and review your case to determine whether this procedure is a suitable option to treat your condition. The decision is highly individual, depending largely on the judgment of our experienced cardiac surgeons.
What are the possible complications?
Complications are extremely rare and similar to those associated with all types of surgery, such as bleeding and infection of the surgical wounds. However, as a result of weakness, low blood pressure, and/or new medication, we caution all patients about an increased risk of falls.
In order to help prevent infections, lung ventilation is essential. You may therefore be instructed to practice breathing exercises and respiratory physical therapy under the guidance of our nursing staff. In addition, a dietitian will provide guidelines about what to eat (generally, soft foods) in the days immediately following the surgery, in order to prevent nausea and not overwhelm the stomach.
Why choose Sheba for minimally invasive valve surgery in Israel?
The Department of Cardiac Surgery at Sheba has already performed hundreds of mitral valve and aortic valve replacement procedures and more than 1,200 open heart surgeries per year. We treat approximately 3,500 inpatients and 2,500 outpatients annually. This makes us the most versatile heart surgery center in Israel, with extensive experience in adult heart surgery, pediatric heart surgery, heart transplantation, and many complex operations.
Our skilled team features surgeons who have trained at the world’s leading hospitals, and we constantly upgrade our operating rooms, laboratories, and imaging services – ensuring that you benefit from the most advanced technologies available. At present, we are the only cardiac department in Israel that implements the minimally invasive thoracoscopic assisted open-heart surgery and the Heartport Access system, which enables our surgeons to perform open heart procedures through a small (5-8 cm) incision below the right breast. This method is the first step towards true robotic surgery, and Sheba is proud to pioneer this cutting-edge technique.
In addition, to facilitate each patient’s treatment at Sheba, we assign a personal medical coordinator from our International Medical Tourism Division to provide assistance with every detail. Our staff is deeply committed to providing holistic, patient-centric healthcare that considers every aspect of your well-being.