Objective: We sought to document the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of performing mitral valve repair using a totally endoscopic approach.
Methods: Between February 1997 and October 1, 2001, 187 patients underwent totally endoscopic mitral valve repair at our institution. The mean age was 60.7 +/- 13.1 years, and 62% were male. Median preoperative functional class and degree of mitral regurgitation were II and 4, respectively. Data collection included an institutional protocol assessing procedure-related pain, cosmesis, and functional recovery. Statistical analysis included Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression methods. Mean follow-up was 19 +/- 15.2 months and was 100% complete.
Results: Associated atrial procedures were performed in 9.1% (n = 17) of the patients. Two patients required intraoperative conversion to sternotomy. Thoracoscopic re-evaluation for suspected bleeding (n = 19) was part of our aggressive postoperative management. One patient required sternotomy for control of bleeding. Hospital mortality included 1 (0.5%) patient and was not technology related. There were 1 early and 6 late reoperations, 4 of which were due to endocarditis. No risk factors for repair failure could be detected. Freedom from mitral valve reoperation at 4 years was 93.3% +/- 2.6%. The median degree of mitral regurgitation at follow-up was 0. Ninety-three percent of the patients were highly satisfied with either no or mild postoperative pain, and 98.4% believed they had an aesthetically pleasing scar.
Conclusions: Totally endoscopic mitral valve repair can be done safely with excellent results and a high degree of patient satisfaction. It is now our exclusive approach for isolated atrioventricular valve disease.