Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery. It's a long name, but at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire's Cardiac Center, it means significant "short cuts" — shorter, smaller surgical incisions and shortened recovery time for some coronary bypass patients.
Eau Claire is one of only a handful of locations in the country where minimally invasive coronary surgery is being regularly performed. Robert Wiechmann, M.D., one of our cardiovascular surgeons,says that traditional bypass surgery requires a sternotomy (cutting the sternum or breast bone) to reach the coronary blood vessels. Physician assistants in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery also use new techniques to minimize the trauma of vein harvest.
"Minimally invasive surgery, however, requires only three small incisions on the left side of the chest. That means less stress and trauma during surgery, which means a faster, smoother recovery," Dr. Wiechmann says. Patients often can return to work in one month rather than the three months typical of more invasive procedures, he adds.
Who is a candidate for minimally invasive coronary surgery?
Candidates for minimally invasive coronary surgery include patients who have:
Blocked or diseased vessels on the left side of the heart only
Not had previous bypass surgery
No pre-existing scar tissue on the heart or chest
No dilated or enlarged blood vessels
For more information about services available at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire's Cardiac Center, call 715-838-6320.