Port-access minimally invasive surgery for atrial septal defects: A 10-year single-center experience in 166 patients

Nicola Vistarini, Marco Aiello, Gabriella Mattiucci, Alessia Alloni, Barbara Cattadori, Carmine Tinelli, Carlo Pellegrini, Andrea Maria D'Armini, Mario Viganò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We assessed the surgical results and the benefits to the patient of a minimally invasive surgical approach for atrial septal defects. Methods: Between May 1998 and May 2008, 166 patients (median age, 44 years) had surgery for atrial septal defects in our institution. Of these patients, 118 (71%) had a patent foramen ovale (associated with atrial septal aneurysm in 48 cases), 33 (20%) had a wide ostium secundum defect, 6 (3.6%) had an ostium primum defect, 6 (3.6%) had a sinus venosus defect with abnormal pulmonary vein connection, and 1 (0.6%) had a coronary sinus defect. In 2 cases (1.2%) patients were referred to our department for surgical correction after failure of interventional occluder placement. All patients were operated on via a right minithoracotomy (mean incision, 5.5 ± 1 cm) in the fourth intercostal space and under cardiopulmonary bypass. Results: The HeartPort access system was used in 106 patients (64%), with an endoaortic clamp (central kit in 50 cases and peripheral kit in 56). In the remaining patients (36%), we preferred the Portaclamp system (37 cases) or the Chitwood clamp (23 cases). Average crossclamp time was 38.4 ± 22.2 minutes with a mean cardiopulmonary bypass time of 64.9 ± 34.5 minutes. There was no conversion in classic sternotomy. There were no early or late hospital deaths. Surgical revision was performed in 6 patients for bleeding from the thoracic wall. The mean hospital stay was 5.8 days. At 51 months mean follow-up, 4 patients died of non-cardiac-related causes. Conclusions: Port-access minimally invasive surgery for atrial septal defects is a safe, less-invasive, reproducible, and cosmetic operation, providing an excellent outcome and an effective correction, and could be now considered the standard approach for this type of patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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