There are several ways to do minimally invasive aortic valve surgery. Techniques include min-thoracotomy, min-sternotomy, robot-assisted surgery, and percutaneous surgery. To perform the different procedures:
Your surgeon may make a 2-inch to 3-inch (5 to 7.5 centimeters) cut in the right part of your chest near the sternum (breastbone). The muscles in the area will be divided. This lets the surgeon reach the heart and aortic valve.
Your surgeon may split only the upper portion of your breast bone allowing exposure to the aortic valve.
For robotically-assisted valve surgery, the surgeon makes 2 to 4 tiny cuts in your chest. The surgeon uses a special computer to control robotic arms during the surgery. A 3D view of the heart and aortic valve are displayed on a computer in the operating room.