Mini-Sternotomy for a Tortuous Aortic Aneurysm

In June 2016, Dr. Michael Borger repaired a 5.1cm tortuous aortic aneurysm with a mini-sternotomy, with a less than three-inch scar.  The patient had a displaced heart and a twisted ascending aorta, requiring Dr. Borger to work from the opposite side of the operating table, as well as through a very small access point. The procedure was completed in roughly four hours and required the use of a heart-lung machine.

“More and more patients are asking for less invasive procedures,” says Dr. Borger, Director of the Cardiovascular Institute and the Aortic Surgery program at NYP/Columbia.  "This is why we have seen such an explosion of TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) which allows us to replace the aortic valve through the groin without using a heart-lung machine.  If patients can undergo a less traumatic procedure and can recover faster with less morbidity, this is the approach they will demand.  We can now do minimally invasive procedures with the same results, that is same safety and efficacy, as conventional open surgery leaving the patient with an incision one-third the usual size.”

Read more about the Aortic Surgery program here »