Written by Fotios Mitropoulos Cardiac Surgeon for Children, Adults & Congenital Heart Diseases Director of the 1st Cardiac Surgery Clinic for Children and Adults with Congenital Heart Diseases, MITERA
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery as the most specialized field of Surgery, especially Cardiac Surgery, which aims entirely at the repair of congenital heart diseases or abnormalities in fetuses, infants, children, teenagers or young adults is constantly evolving.
Pediatric cardiologists use all the necessary and specialized surgical techniques for each case, which over the years, as well as new technological surgical developments, are becoming more and more minimally invasive.
Pediatric patients can in no way be treated as a mere “miniature” of adult patients. Therefore, surgical procedures, techniques, and postoperative care in children differ significantly from those in adults. For these reasons, special attention and care is required, not only for the surgical treatment of the disease related to the disease, but also for the fulfillment of the requirements, both for long-term functionality, without complications and reoperations, and for aesthetics, which are basic concerns of both patients and their environment.
Minimally invasive surgery
As a further step to reduce “invasiveness”, the method of Thoracoscopic Cardiac Surgery or Complete Endoscopic Cardiac Surgery is now increasingly used. This new “era” of minimally invasive surgery without the classical opening of the sternum or chest, helps even more to minimize the trauma, to reduced to zero complications and to return the patient to normalcy more quickly.
It is very important to point out at this point that the aesthetic result is flawless and almost invisible, since these holes are minimal (1-3 cm).
The surgical procedure is carried out through small incisions, in the interspaces between the ribs in the patient’s chest, holes where specialized and absolute precision tools are placed, with which the heart surgeon methodically and with delicate manipulations performs the restoration of the heart damage having a continuous image of the point through a special magnifying camera (endoscope).
Currently, Thoracoscopic – fully endoscopic Cardiac Surgery is considered a breakthrough surgical approach in older children and adults with congenital or acquired heart disease and is used to:
1. Heart Valve Repairs and Replacements.
2. Closure of Interatrial & Interventricular Communications.
3. Removal of Heart Tumors.
4. Rehabilitation of Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy.
5. Heart Reoperations.
The advantages of the method are numerous and of crucial importance include:
1. Minimization of tissue trauma while restoring normal cardiac anatomy.
2. Significant reduction in blood loss and the need for transfusions.
3. Lower rates of intraoperative & postoperative infections.
4. Shorter stay of the patient in the Intensive Care Unit, but also a shorter overall hospitalization and care time in the hospital.
5. Faster recovery and mobilization of the patient.
6. Controlled and normal postoperative pain.
7. Avoidance of recurrence of reparable heart disease or dysfunction.
8. Flawless aesthetic result at all levels.
In the 1st Cardiac Surgery Clinic for Children and Adults Congenital Heart Diseases of MITERA, the possibility of Minimally Invasive Surgical operations including Thoracoscopic-Endoscopic Cardiac Surgery is provided for children, teenagers, but also adults with congenital and acquired heart diseases.
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