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A Review of Evolutionary and Cyclical Changes in the Surgical Approach to Aortic Valve Disease

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 1 ]


Marco Piciche*, Guglielmo Actis Dato, Roberto Lorusso and Francesco Musumeci   Pages 45 - 51 ( 7 )


Introduction: Aortic valve surgery is no exception to the general rule that history is a cycle in many fields. This manuscript aims to assist readers in transitioning from past to present and on into the future within the field of aortic valve surgery.

Methods: The existing literature has been examined, including old and modern articles published on pubmed, old articles non visible on pubmed, old and recent books on the history of medicine, looking for similarities and repetitions in techniques and surgical approaches to the aortic valve in the past and the current times.

Results: Steps of evolution included a blind approach, plasty procedures under direct visualization of the valve without the aid of cardiopulmonary bypass, prosthetic valve replacements via sternotomies with cardiopulmonary bypass, minimally-invasive access routes, trans-catheter aortic valve implants (TAVI), suture-less prostheses, mini-thoracotomies incorporating suture-less prostheses, and finally, totally-endoscopic aortic valve replacements.

Conclusion: After the advent of CPB and several decades of open-heart surgery with full sternotomies, the minimally-invasive approach has re-emerged. Supported by a commitment to smaller incisions and shorter bypass times, the concept is now being aggressively developed. The cycling of science, including the field of aortic valve surgery, means that ingenious theories and concepts that have fallen by the wayside can be brought back and explored again with current tools and enhanced knowledge.


Aortic valve, cardiopulmonary bypass, evolution, minimally-invasive, prosthetic heart valve, surgery.


Cardiac Surgery Department, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Cardiac Surgery Department, Mauriziano Hospital, Turin, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Unit, Heart & Vascular Centre, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, Cardiac Surgery Department, San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome

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