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We examined whether small incision aortic root replacement could reduce the amount of blood transfusion during operation and the risk of postoperative complications. An extensive e-review of the 4 main databases (PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science and EMBASE) was carried out to determine all the published trials by July 2023. The search terms used were associated with partial versus full sternotomy and aortic root. This analysis only included the study articles that compared partial and full sternotomy. After excluding articles based on titles or abstracts, selected full-text articles had reference lists searched for any potential further articles. We analysed a total of 2167 subjects from 10 comparable trials. The minimally invasive aortic root graft in breastbone decreased the duration of hospitalization (MD, -2.58; 95% CI, -3.15, -2.01, p < 0.0001) and intraoperative red blood cell transfusion (MD, -1.27; 95% CI, -2.34, -0.19, p = 0.02). However, there were no significant differences in wound infection (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.16, 4.93, p = 0.88), re-exploration for bleeding (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.60, 1.53, p = 0.86), intraoperative blood loss (MD, -259.19; 95% CI, -615.11, 96.73, p = 0.15) and operative time (MD, -7.39; 95% CI, -19.10, 4.32, p = 0.22); the results showed that the microsternotomy did not differ significantly from that of the routine approach. Small sternotomy may be an effective and safe substitute for the treatment of the aorta root. Nevertheless, the wide variety of data indicates that larger, well-designed studies are required to back up the current limited literature evidence showing a benefit in terms of complications like postoperative wound infections or the volume of intraoperative red blood cell transfusion.

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