Healthe-Matters Logo

Essential health information from local experts

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery: How & Why

Written by SMH Digital Communications Specialist Ann Key

When it comes to matters of the heart, care and treatment options are continually evolving. Advances in surgical solutions and medical interventions mean more patients now have better choices.

One such solution is “MICS,” or minimally invasive cardiac surgery, a technique that allows surgeons to perform a range of cardiac surgeries — from valve replacements and repairs to corrective surgeries for arrhythmias and defects — through a keyhole incision, using a small scope and instruments.

What is MICS?

The most common approach for open heart surgery, a sternotomy, requires a 12 to 14-inch incision through the breastbone. However, experienced surgeons are increasingly opting to use minimally invasive techniques like MICS, which requires only a 2- to 3-inch incision. This small incision is made between the ribs, instead of cutting the breastbone, and another small incision is made in the groin to connect the patient to cardiopulmonary bypass machine, which takes over the functions of the heart and lungs while the heart is stopped.

When the procedure is complete, the small incisions are closed with minimal scarring and much less trauma to the body than a sternotomy. On average, MICS recovery takes 2 to 4 weeks — versus the 6 to 12 weeks’ recovery for an open-heart procedure. 

With MICS, patients can expect less blood loss, fewer complications and a faster recovery. And outcomes in minimally invasive cardiac surgery are the same as — or in many cases, better than — traditional open-heart operations.

Learn More

Wondering if MICS is for you or want to learn more about it? Click here to check out our Ask An Expert Q&A with Dr. Jonathon Hoffberger, medical director of minimally invasive cardiac surgery at Sarasota Memorial. 

Many cardiac and thoracic procedures can be performed minimally invasively or robotically. Know your options. Call 941-917-7777.

Ann Key, digital communicationsAs Sarasota Memorial's digital communications specialist, Ann Key manages the health care system's Healthe-Matters blog, as well as its other wellness content and social media channels. If you have a health question you need answered or a wellness topic you'd like a local expert to weigh in on, email her at

Posted: Feb 25, 2020,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Key