Background: Atrial septal defects (ASDs) have been surgically closed with low mortality utilizing the conventional sternotomy approach (CSA). The technical ease of ASD closure has triggered interest in minimally invasive closure (MIC) to obviate the morbidity associated with sternotomy. Our study assesses the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive ASD closure.
Methods: Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were collected on 68 patients (39 CSA, 29 MIC) who underwent ASD closure from January 1997 to August 2002. Using univariate analysis of 17 preoperative risk factors there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups.
Results: MIC resulted in equivalent success rates in ASD closures, with similar morbidity, no mortality, and a significant difference in postoperative length of stay (3.93 +/- 1.6 days versus 5.36 +/- 2.51 days, p = 0.006).
Conclusions: In experienced hands, MIC is an excellent alternative to CSA in ASD closure.