The short answer is nothing. Scarring is different in different patients. Keeping the wounds clean with soap and water will help prevent infections which can lead to increased scarring. We recommend showering daily immediately after arriving home but no bath tub for a week.

Some patients develop excessive scarring known as keloids. If a patient is prone to this, steroid injections can be given to reduce the risk. However, keloids are less likely to occur in the locations of the incisions that we make so this may not be as helpful. The good news is the incisions are tiny compared to traditional open surgery done through the breastplate so even if there is scarring they will be small.

Additionally, the incisions are in a fairly hidden location (right arm pit area and the right or left groin area for robotic mitral repair for instance) so the cosmetic result of these procedures is dramatically superior to a traditional “zipper” wound down the middle of the breast plate. I don’t like to use cosmesis as an argument to do these robotic endoscopic procedures but it is a clear advantage.

Category: Questions About Recovery After Surgery
T. Sloane Guy, MD

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