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Robotic Cardiac Surgery

Robotic Cardiac Surgery

Robotic cardiac surgery, also called robot heart surgery, is a form of heart surgery performed with minimally invasive, high-precision techniques. It makes use of tiny instruments and robotic devices inserted through small incisions into the chest to perform a wide range of cardiac surgeries. Other common ways of referring to this procedure are robotic heart repair and DaVinci surgery, the latter named after the manufacturer of the robotic device.

The most common heart related problems treated with robotic cardiac surgery procedures include:

  • Valve surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass (to improve blood flow and reduce chest pain)
  • Cardiac tissue ablation
  • Heart defect repair
  • Tumor removal

Other fields in which robotic cardiac surgery can be an option are:

  • Heart valve replacement
  • Arrhythmia, more specifically atrial fibrillation correction
  • Congenital disorders treatment

The main advantage of robotic heart surgery is the minimally invasive nature of the  technique, which allows a faster healing and a prompt return to daily activities.  Another great factor is the precision of movements robotics enable doctors to make, significantly improving the rates of a positive outcome.

Robotic Cardiac Surgery Procedure

The robotic heart surgeon will assess and determine if the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, after considering age, medical history and lifestyle. During the procedure, a series of keyhole-sized incisions are made on the chest, through which the robotic arms are inserted. These robotic arms manipulate tiny instruments and perform the required tasks. A camera is also inserted to provide a magnified 3D vision of the operating site, while the robotic heart surgeon controls the robotic arms from the console.

After closing the incisions the patient is monitored for a period of time adjusted to their condition.

Most of the risks during cardiac surgery are minimized with the robotic procedure, as there is no need to open the chest and cut through the breastbone. At the same time, many other complications that may occur in any major surgery are also eliminated.

The procedure requires general anesthesia, but it is often performed on an outpatient basis. Usual risks that may lead to heart attack, stroke, infection and other complications associated to specific medical conditions, are taken into consideration.