It saves time and eliminates some of the major trauma to the patient (like cutting the breastbone and stopping the heart). One doctor hails keyhole heart valve surgery as the biggest development since angioplasty. The first such operation in the UK is to be performed soon, though the procedure’s already been done in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Canada.
Who wouldn’t rather put up with the pain and discomfort of having something jammed up your groin artery than deal with your entire chest being cut open? Speaking as someone who knows a candidate for valve replacement, I sure hope the U.S. decides to test this procedure soon–and finds it effective.