Focusing on You: Reoperative Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A minimally-invasive reoperative procedure helps patients avoid having a second intrusive heart surgery.

A reoperative surgical procedure is one that is needed to repair a malfunction or an issue from a previous procedure in the same location. Joseph Lamelas, M.D., Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System, explains how a "redo" minimally invasive cardiac procedure – which he pioneered – is helping heart patients recover faster with less risk of bleeding and infection.


TRANSCRIPTION

 

Pam Giganti:

Rene Monteagudo got the shock of his life during an annual physical back in 2009.

Rene Monteagudo:

It was revealed that I had a congenital heart defect.

Pam Giganti:

He needed surgery to replace a failing heart valve and went to see UHealth Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Joseph Lamelas, who pioneered a minimally invasive heart procedure.

Dr. Joseph Lamelas:

The minimally invasive operations, whether it's a primary or a reoperative procedure, they're all done through a five centimeter incision on the right lateral aspect of the chest.

Pam Giganti:

Why would someone need reoperative minimally invasive cardiac surgery?

Dr. Lamelas:

So when the valves degenerate or when they wear out, that's when the patient would require a reoperative procedure, and performing the operation through a minimally invasive approach has many benefits.

Pam Giganti:

Patient Kelly Haskins experienced those benefits when she needed heart valve replacement again, after undergoing open-heart surgery back in 2016.

Kelly Haskins:

The difference between the open-heart surgery through the sternum and the Miami method used by Dr. Joseph Lamelas is like night and day.

Pam Giganti:

Instead of being in the hospital for weeks, she was out in four days. 19 days post-surgery, Kelly says her recovery has been amazing.

Kelly Haskins:

I'm up out of bed, I'm up out of my chair. I'm up, and feeling good.

Pam Giganti:

Last November, 10 years after his first surgery, Rene's heart valve got infected.

Rene Monteagudo:

Every time I would lay down, I would just get out of breath.

Pam Giganti:

Instead of open-heart surgery where the sternum is cracked to access the heart, Dr. Lamelas was able to perform the reoperative minimally invasive procedure on Rene to replace the infected valve.

Dr. Lamelas:

The risk of bleeding is a lot less, the risk of infection is a lot less, and the overall recovery is remarkable.

Pam Giganti:

Rene is now back to feeling like himself again.

Rene Monteagudo:

I owe my life to him and to his team, they're phenomenal.