Background: Port-Access™ surgery has been one of the most innovative and controversial methods in the spectrum of minimally invasive techniques for cardiac operations and has been widely used for the treatment of several cardiac diseases. The technique was introduced in our center to evaluate its efficacy in reproducing standardized results without an additional risk. Methods: Endovascular cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) through femoral access and endoluminal aortic occlusion were used in 129 patients for a variety of surgical procedures, all of which were video-assisted. A minimal (4-6 cm) anterior thoracotomy through the fourth intercostal space was used in all cases as the surgical approach. Results: More than 96% of the planned cases concluded as true Port-Access™ procedures. Mean CBP and crossclamp times were 87.2 min. ± 51.2 (range of 10-457) and 54.9 min. ± 30.6 (range of 10-190), respectively. Hospital mortality for the overall group was 1.5%, and mitral valve surgery had a 2.2% hospital death rate. The incidence of early neurological events was 0.7%. Mean extubation time, ICU stay, and total length of hospital stay were 5 hours ± 6 hrs. (range of 2-32), 12 hours ± 11.8 hrs. (range of 5-78), and 7 days ± 7.03 days (range of 1-72), respectively. Conclusions: Our experience indicates that the Port- Access™ technique is safe and permits reproduction of standardized results with the use of a very limited surgical approach. We are convinced that this is a superior procedure for certain types of surgery, including isolated primary or redo mitral surgery, repair of a variety of atrial septal defects (ASDs), and atrial tumors. It is especially useful in high-risk patients, such as elderly patients or those requiring reoperation. Simplification of the procedure is nevertheless desirable in order to further reduce the time of operation and to address other drawbacks.
Port-Access cardiac surgery: from a learning process to the standard / Greco, Ernesto; Barriuso, C; Castro, Ma; Fita, G; Pomar, Jl. - In: THE HEART SURGERY FORUM. - ISSN 1098-3511. - STAMPA. - 5(2):(2002), pp. 145-149.