crescent shaped incision for open heart surgery?

  1. I have been told a friend of mine is having open heart surgery for repair of her mitral valve prolapse with severe regurgitation and new afib. She tells me she wasn't a candidate for the minimally invasive procedure to repair her valve and is going to have to "have her chest cracked" in her words. However, she says instead of the traditional vertical "zipper" she will have an incision on her chest that is crescent moon shaped and she will be able to wear a v-neck without the incision being visible. My entire nursing career is emergency nursing, so I realize there is sooooooo much I don't know about in the realm of cardiothoracic surgery - but I don't think I've ever come across a patient in my ER with this shaped chest incision. (And I've been a travel nurse for many years) So, I would love to research this approach, but can't seem to find any "google searches" matching........ has anyone heard of this? Can you enlighten me? Thanks!!
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    About Brucenet2000

    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 6


  3. by   Ruby Vee

    A thorocotomy incision? OUCH! Those are painful. If she's worried about the low cut tops, have her take a look at Katy Segal on "Sons of Anarchy". She wears some pretty low cut tops, and her sternotomy incision is right out there.
  4. by   Brucenet2000
    She doesn't care about the incision being visible, this is just how it was explained to her by the surgeon. And I just can't figure out what exactly he is talking about.........
  5. by   andi.w
    I work in open heart recovery, and I have not heard of a crescent shaped midsternal incision. I do not work in a large hospital, but I have seen a few patients come through with a MVR via a thoracotomy approach. Maybe this is what she's referring to? Initially it is a bit more of a recovery process and much more painful, but better benefits in the long run, especially if it is a younger patient.
  6. by   Brucenet2000
    I've just learned, it's still the traditional open heart surgery, but he is going to do a V shaped incision - starting under each collarbone and coming down into a V. He'll fold that flap of skin up and the proceed as usual.......... I'm wondering if it will actually more like a Y.......... this is still something I've never heard of.
  7. by   marilynbaker
    I have never seen a cresent shaped incision at my facility. I have only seen the traditional "zipper" incicion.