Background: The port access (PA) approach for valvular heart surgery is widely used, but few studies evaluating outcomes compared with the sternotomy approach have been performed.
Methods: One hundred nine consecutive patients undergoing PA-isolated valve surgery were compared with 88 matched patients who underwent sternotomy-isolated valve surgery before the institution of the PA program. Case matching was performed by age, surgeon, congestive heart failure, position of operated valve, and history of previous surgery.
Results: Analysis revealed that PA was associated with similar hospital mortality (p = 0.62), longer bypass times (p < 0.001), shorter length of stay (p = 0.02), fewer transfusions (p = 0.02), and fewer septic complications (p = 0.05).
Conclusions: The PA approach for isolated valvular heart surgery provided patients with significantly improved clinical outcomes in their immediate perioperative course. Further studies are required to measure the impact of the PA approach on the patients' recovery after hospitalization.