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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery for Children

To Schedule an Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 914.493.8793

Minimally Invasive Right Axillary Thoracotomy

Children and their families have access to an alternative to a standard sternotomy for repair of a wide variety of congenital heart defects at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

Sameh M. Said, MBBCh, MD is one of the very few surgeons who specializes in minimally invasive procedures used for treating congenital heart defects. The procedure, which is known as a minimally invasive right axillary thoracotomy, allows the surgeon to repair the heart through a small muscle-sparing incision under the arm. Using an incision just 2.5-3” long, this approach is superior to the traditional approach known as sternotomy, which involves cutting through the breastbone.

Benefits of a Minimally Invasive Approach

A vertical muscle-sparing thoracotomy has multiple potential benefits when compared to traditional sternotomy for heart surgery for children, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • No broken bones
  • No cutting of the muscles
  • Aesthetic appeal (no visible scar)
  • Lower risk of needing blood transfusion

Minimally Invasive Treatment for Heart Defects

There is a wide variety of heart defects and procedures that can be treated or performed through vertical right axillary thoracotomy, including but not limited to the following.

  • All types of Atrial septal defects
  • Majority of Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defects (AV canal)
  • Subaortic Membrane
  • Pulmonary Venous Anomalies
  • Warden Procedure
  • Cor Triatriatum
  • Mitral Valve Pathology
  • Tricuspid Valve Pathology
  • Some Cardiac Tumors

The procedure is applicable to infants and children of all ages. Your child could be a candidate for this approach, which in our experience, has been superior to standard sternotomy in many aspects.

Patients and families have traveled from all over the United States to receive the care they need through Dr. Said’s innovative approach. In addition to receiving excellent surgical care, patients and families benefit from working with our experienced team of cardiologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, critical care and child life specialists who assist in navigating the challenges associated with treating a congenital heart defect.

For more information or to request an appointment, please call 914.493.8793.

In the News

Minimally invasive heart surgery leaves less scarring, faster recovery | News12

This Less Invasive Heart Surgery Helps Babies Thrive | Advancing Care

Our Location

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595


Our Providers

Said, Sameh M., MB BCh
Sameh Said, MB BCh
Chief, Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics
New York Medical College
  • Surgery, Thoracic
  • General Surgery