What is robotic surgery?
Robotic assisted heart surgery is a new technology that allows cardiac surgeons to perform select types of heart surgery through very small incisions, and may change the way heart surgery is performed in the future. The goal is to decrease incision size and hospital stays while improving patient comfort and lessening recovery time
What is Robotic surgery used for?
Robotic surgery is used to assist the surgeon during coronary artery bypass surgery.
Traditionally, bypass surgery involves placing the patient on the heart-lung bypass machine (to circulate oxygenated blood during surgery); creating a 6 to 8 inch incision to visualize the heart; stopping the heart in order to stabilize the blood vessels; and performing the bypass procedure.
Minimally invasive bypass surgery decreases the size of the incision to about 3-4 inches. Depending on the technique, the surgeon may choose to perform surgery on a "beating heart" or off the heart-lung bypass machine ("off-pump").
Robot-assisted surgery is used in combination with traditional minimally invasive surgery to perform the bypass surgery through a much smaller incision. The robotic arms are used to open the pericardium (sac that surrounds the heart) and to harvest the mammary artery (in the chest wall) through a very small incision. Then, the surgeon uses the mammary artery to bypass a blocked heart artery through a minimally invasive incision. In most cases, the sternum or breastbone does not need to be opened
Robotic Assisted Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (RA-CAB)
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is performed to restore blood flow to your heart by bypassing coronary (heart) arteries that have been narrowed or blocked by the build-up of plaque. When plaque loosens and breaks off, a blood clot forms, which can block blood flow to your heart, resulting in chest pain or heart attack. In CABG, a surgeon reroutes blood around the blocked or narrowed portion of a coronary artery or arteries using a piece of an artery or vein from another part of your body
What are the advantages of RA-CAB?
The traditional CABG technique requires that the surgeon make an incision down the front of the chest through the breastbone (sternum), called a sternotomy, which enables the surgeon to gain access to the heart. Traditional CABG also requires stilling the patient's heart and connecting the patient to a heart-lung machine to perform the heart's function during the surgery.
After the surgeon has completed the bypass, the patient is taken off the heart-lung machine and the heart started again. Although safe and effective, a procedure as invasive as traditional CABG involves a long recovery period and carries the risk of many side effects and complications, such as blood loss, infection, kidney failure, and stroke.
RA-CAB offers many benefits compared to traditional CABG, including:
Smaller incisions and scars;
Fewer side effects and complications;
Less risk of infection; and
Faster recovery time.
Robotic assisted congenital heart surgery is performed for specific types of congential heart diseases such as:
Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) – a defect (hole) between the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) that causes oxygen-rich blood to leak from the left side to the right side of the heart to be pumped back into the lungs.
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) – occurs when the blood vessel, called foramen ovale that joins the left and right atria, fails to close after birth.
Benefits of Robotic Assisted Congenital Heart Surgery
Robotic assisted congenital heart surgery offers benefits of shorter hospitalization, less bleeding, and a faster recovery.
Robotic assisted congenital heart surgery is only ideal for patients at low risk of complications. Each patient's diagnosis and treatment is unique and your physician will recommend the best approach for you.
Heart and Vascular Conditions Treated with Robotic Assisted Congenital Heart Surgery
Congenital Heart Disease
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