Minimal access cardiac surgery

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery embodies a variety of surgical procedures that are performed through small incisions, where surgical tools are passed through those incisions to treat the affected area.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery has benefits such as smaller incisions, smaller scars, reduced infections risk, less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery time.

When is a minimally invasive cardiac surgery done?

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is done to treat a number of heart conditions such as blocked or damaged arteries, coronary artery disease and heart rhythm problems also called arrhythmias, or heart defects, etc.

There are different heart procedures that may be performed with minimally invasive cardiac surgery, such as:

  • Mitral valve repair or replacement
  • Tricuspid valve repair or replacement
  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closure
  • Atrioventricular septal defect surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Saphenous vein harvest for coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation
  • Radiofrequency cardioablation atrial fibrillation

What does surgery entail?

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery may include robot-assisted cardiac surgery or thoracoscopic surgery. Both types of minimally invasive cardiac procedures involve the surgeon reaching the heart through small incisions between the ribs. A small tube that has a small video camera is then inserted through one incision to provide real-time images of your body inside. A heart-lung machine will be used to keep blood moving through your body during the procedure.

  • Robot-assisted heart surgery
    During this procedure, Dr Dongo uses robotic arms, rather than his hands to perform the surgery, which he will control from a remote console. This will allow him to better manipulate the instruments and perform cardiac surgery precisely.
  • Thoracoscopic surgery
    During this procedure, Dr Dongo will insert a long thin tube that has a camera, called a thoracoscope, through a small incision. He will then repair the heart with the use of surgical instruments.


A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Dr Lehlohonolo Dongo's Qualifications.


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