Along my journey to constantly try to modify, simplify and improve all of my minimally invasive approaches, here is another one.
Since I very rarely use retrograde Cardioplegia and have gone to a one shot Modified Del Nido solution (4 parts Blood: 1 part Del Nido with 40 mEq of potassium, with a 2 liter induction dose, which allows me for 90-100 minutes of SAFE arrest time), I needed to have a device to retract the right atrial appendage in mini AVR procedures. I have tried many different devices and maneuvers but placing a number 2 silk inside of an IV tubing and looping it out of one end provides the necessary retraction. The tubing and loop are passed through my chest tube incision or utility port. My LV vent which is placed into the right superior pulmonary vein is also exited through the utility port. You will also see in the pictures a third tube, which is a long IV tubing (not to be confused with the loop tube) which is used as a guide to help pass all of the above through the utility port and avoid creating multiple false tracts in the chest wall as well as avoid damage to the intercostal vessels.
I have enclosed pictures to demonstrate this.