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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgery uses techniques that reduce the size of incisions (cuts) needed to access the heart inside the chest. Instead of a midline incision that splits the sternum, portholes are placed between the ribs to avoid cutting bone or cartilage. This speeds the healing process.

Figure 1: Location of heart and bony landmarks in the chest.

Figure 2: Incision through the sternum for open heart coronary bypass surgery.

Figure 3: Incision between the ribs for minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery.

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