How Robotic Surgery Has Changed Care

During traditional open-heart surgery, a surgeon makes a 10-to-12 inch incision down the middle of a patient’s chest and separates the breast bone. The heart may temporarily be stopped, allowing a heart-lung bypass machine to do the work of oxygenating the blood. Though this traditional method can save lives and remains the best option for some people, it requires a lengthy recovery. The use of the heart-lung bypass machine can also increase the risk of complications such as stroke.

Robotic surgery, on the other hand, offers a newer, more high-tech alternative. It allows a surgical team to insert video-guided instruments through tiny incisions between the ribs or just under the breastbone. Guided by the 3-D, high-definition view of the inside of the body, surgeons use a console to control the robotic “arms,” maneuvering ultra-flexible surgical instruments with precision. In some cases, surgeons may also use a stabilization device that allows them to operate on a beating heart, reducing the risk of stroke and other complications.

“They Gave Me My Husband Back.”
After Tom Sherry suffered a heart attack, robotic surgery got him back on his feet.
What Is Robotic Surgery?

  • Tiny, flexible instruments fit into narrow openings, eliminating the need to separate the breast bone
  • A magnified 3-D high-definition camera allows surgeons to see inside the body
  • Robot-controlled “arms” provide more flexibility and control than the human hand
Benefits

  • Incisions are small – roughly half the size of traditional open heart surgery
  • Surgery can be performed on a beating heart, reducing the risk of complications
  • Patients recover more quickly, leaving the hospital within days and returning to work within weeks
Surgical Options

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
  • Valve Repair and Replacement
  • Ablative surgery to treat atrial fibrillation
  • The removal of tumors in the chest and lungs

Why Choose Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute?

We specialize both in conventional care as well as the most advanced, minimally-invasive approaches. Our robotic surgeons are among the most experienced on the East Coast, and the Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute helps more people with cardiovascular problems than any other health system in the region.