Incidence of Postoperative Pulmonary Complications in Patients Undergoing Minimally Invasive Versus Median Sternotomy Valve Surgery: Propensity Score Matching

J Cardiothorac Surg. 2021 Oct 9;16(1):287


Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) are common incidents associated with an increased hospital stay, readmissions into the intensive care unit (ICU), increased costs, and mortality after cardiac surgery. Our study aims to analyze whether minimally invasive valve surgery (MIVS) can reduce the incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications compared to the full median sternotomy (FS) approach.


We reviewed the records of 1076 patients who underwent isolated mitral or aortic valve surgery (80 MIVS and 996 FS) in our institution between January 2015 and December 2019. Propensity score-matching analysis was used to compare outcomes between the groups and to reduce selection bias.


Propensity score matching revealed no significant difference in hospital mortality between the groups. The incidence of PPCs was significantly less in the MIVS group than in the FS group (19% vs. 69%, respectively; P < 0.0001). The most common PPCs were atelectasis (P = 0.034), pleural effusions (P = 0.042), and pulmonary infection (P = 0.001). Prolonged mechanical ventilation time (> 24 h) (P = 0.016), blood transfusion amount (P = 0.006), length of hospital stay (P < 0.0001), and ICU stay (P < 0.0001) were significantly less in the MIVS group. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CBP), aortic cross-clamping, and operative time intervals were significantly longer in the MIVS group than in the matched FS group (P < 0.001). A multivariable analysis revealed a decreased risk of PPCs in patients undergoing MIVS (odds ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.006–0.180; P < 0.0001).


MIVS for isolated valve surgery reduces the risk of PPCs compared with the FS approach.