BackgroundQuality of life in patients undergoing totally thoracoscopic closure of atrial septal defect is unclear.MethodsThoracoscopic atrial septal defect repair was performed in 96 patients (37 males, aged 19.4 ± 8.7 years) without the aid of a computerized robotic surgical system. An additional 56 patients (23 males, aged 21.0 ± 16.1 years) undergoing conventional atrial septal defect closure through sternotomy were enrolled as a control group. Quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Survey on day 60 after surgery.ResultsAtrial septal defect closure was successful in all patients. There was no perioperative mortality or reoperation for bleeding. Total duration of operations (98 ± 11 versus 128 ± 21 minutes, p < 0.01) and hospital stays (5.3 ± 1.7 versus 6.9 ± 2.1 days, p = 0.024) were shorter in the study group than in the control group, respectively. At discharge, patients with moderate to severe incisional pain in the study and control groups was 11.6% and 62.5%, respectively (p = 0.008). The time interval between discharge and returning to school or work in the study group was shorter than in the control group (28 ± 4 versus 42 ± 7 days, p = 0.003). The mean scores of eight variables in the Short Form Survey, such as physical function, bodily pain, social function, and general or mental health in the study group were higher than in the control group (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01).ConclusionsCompared with conventional sternotomy, totally thoracoscopic atrial septal defect closure was associated with a faster recovery of physical function and a better quality of life.