Thoracotomy Vs. Sternotomy For Vicki’s Mitral Valve Surgery… Any Female Perspectives?

By Adam Pick on September 16, 2008

Vicki (pictured below) recently sent me a question regarding her upcoming mitral valve surgery. While I have some ideas for Vicki, we thought it might be helpful for Vicki to gather feedback from other patients – especially females. That said… Do you have any thoughts for Vicki? Here is what she writes:

Hi Adam,

I’m scheduled for mitral valve surgery (hopefully repair, not mitral valve replacement) on September 26. I’m a very fit 54-year old woman that climbs mountains, bikes and generally expects a lot of her body!

 

 

My surgeon, Doctor Vincent Gaudiani, has given me the choice of a thoracotomy or a midline sternotomy. Considering this choice, I am looking to find one or more women that opted for the thoracotomy, and had the procedure done one or more years ago.

 

Thoracotomy – Incision Diagram

 

The pros of the thoracotomy procedure are: 1) aesthetics and 2) no bone breakage. BUT, I’m wondering what the long-term effect of cutting through the intercostal muscles has on mobility, exercise, yoga, etc.

I want to make sure that a thoracotomy is the best option for someone that is very active. It would be a bummer to pick that option, only to find out that my mobility has been lessened – most likely due to pain – over time.

Thanks for your help on this! I just ordered your book! Best regards, Vicki. To provide your thoughts on thoracotomy and sternotomy, please scroll down to leave a comment for Vicki. In advance, thanks for your help!

Scroll down to see 35+ patient comments.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam's Newest Blogs

Adam's Newest Posts

“How Do I Know When My AFib Is Gone After Heart Surgery?” asks Linda Learn More.

New Findings: Mitral Valve Repair Restores Normal Life Expectancy! Learn More.

New Community Posts

Barbara says, "Good morning everyone. Well, this is..."
Read more

Donna says, "Well My Surgery Is On Monday,And I Am..."
Read more

Newest Community Post

Barbara says, "Good morning everyone. Well, this is"
Read more

Donna says, "Well My Surgery Is On Monday,And I Am"
Read more

Bradley says, "It has been 15 weeks for me. Where has"
Read more

Find Heart Valve Surgeons

Search 1,500 patient-recommended surgeons