Robot-assisted surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System has been a significant advance for cardiac surgeons—and especially for patients. The system adds computer-assisted technology to the surgeon’s skills, allowing difficult cardiac surgeries to be performed through small ports rather than large incisions. A wide range of cardiothoracic procedures can be peformed more accurately and effectively with no disturbance to the skeletal cage.
Today, St.Vincent Heart Center of Indiana is one of the only centers in the state using the da Vinci system. More robot-assisted cardiac procedures are performed at St.Vincent than anywhere else in Indiana.
The robotic system includes a laparoscope and two additional robotic arms with Endowrist® instruments that are inserted into the patient’s chest. These delicate instruments mimic the movement of the surgeon’s hands, wrists, and fingers as the surgeon controls them from the system console. Imaging components provide the surgeon with a three-dimensional view of the surgery area.
Benefits of using the da Vinci system for patients are significant. They include reduced pain and trauma, less blood loss and need for transfusion, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain, and less scarring. In general, patients can return to work faster and resume normal activities sooner after robot-assisted surgery as compared with conventional surgical treatment.
Minimally invasive cardiothoracic procedures performed at St.Vincent Heart Center of Indiana with robotic assistance include:
- Mitral valve repair
- Mitral valve replacement
- Atrial septal defect repair
- Atrial myxoma and thrombi
- Coronary bypass (LIMA to LAD)
- Mediastinal mass excision
- Epicardial lead placement
- Pericardial window
- Transmyocardial revascularization
- Cardiac and thoracic tumors