Pioneering heart surgery performed in Bern

A new type of heart procedure performed in Switzerland for the first time promises to reduce risks for older and more vulnerable patients.

This content was published on January 23, 2008 - 11:43

A team of surgeons and cardiologists at Bern University hospital inserted an artificial valve into the hearts of two patients by passing through a small incision in the chest wall. Both patients are recovering well, a hospital statement said.

The minimally invasive keyhole technique is an alternative to open-heart surgery and is suitable for patients who are unfit for a major operation.

Doctors in Bern made the chest wall incision and passed through the rib cage behind the heart, where they inserted the valve.

Other recently developed keyhole techniques for this procedure involve accessing the heart through arteries in the groin and the hip.

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