UI Heart and Vascular Center surgeons offer minimally invasive heart and thoracic surgery to patients whose needs can be addressed with this innovative technique. Minimally invasive surgery can be used in place of full open-heart surgery and other surgeries of the chest, significantly reducing trauma to the patient. UI Hospitals and Clinics offers the state's largest and most experienced physician team in these state-of-the-art procedures.
Traditional open-heart surgery entails a large vertical incision in the chest and splitting of the sternum (breastbone) in half; six weeks of healing before a patient can return to work or normal activities; a weight restriction of not lifting anything that weighs more than 10 pounds for 12 weeks; and, usually, significant amounts of medication to treat early post-operative pain.
Minimally invasive heart surgery is particularly beneficial for older patients, those who have previously had an open-heart procedure, and those who want rapid return to work or an active lifestyle.
Minimally invasive chest surgery offers the same benefits. These procedures can be performed for almost all diseases of the lung including lung cancer and pulmonary infections and esophageal disease such as reflux disease.