1 July, 2020
Robotic cardiac surgery: what is it and what are its benefits?
A few days ago, the Hospital Clinic Group de Barcelona became the first place in Spain to perform robotic cardiac surgeries. This type of minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery is assisted by the Da Vinci robot system, which allows interventions to be performed in a much less invasive form. This should entail better aesthetic result for the patient, less complications and a better and faster recovery.
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WHAT DOES THE NEW ROBOTIC CARDIAC SURGERY CONSIST OF?
Currently, robot-assisted cardiac surgery allows us to perform some of the interventions that we usually do with open surgery, but in a very non-aggressive way for the patient.All this thanks to theDa Vinci robot, since it is no longer necessary to open the patient’s chest as in conventional surgery. Just like in Port-Access surgery (the conventional minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, which is discussed in the blog), the heart is accessed through very small incisions (from about 8 millimeters). The robot arms are introduced into the body through these incisions, and operated by the surgeon from the outside of the patient. This allows the surgeon to perform the intervention with greater and better mobility than in conventional surgery.
“In robotic cardiac surgery, it is not necessary to open the thorax. The heart is accessed through very small incisions through which the robot’s arms are inserted, so the surgery is performed with greater and better mobility”
Dr. Daniel Pereda
WHAT BENEFITS DOES ROBOTIC CARDIAC SURGERY OFFER?
Robot assistance in cardiovascular surgery offers multiple benefits, both for the patient and for the surgeon. Some of the benefits of cardiac robotic surgery include:
Less invasiveness and less pain
Robotic surgery allows us to decrease the level of surgical invasiveness compared to open surgery.This type of technique is even less aggressive than the more conventional minimally invasive surgeries (Port-access).The incisions required to perform robotic cardiovascular surgeries are much smaller.In this sense, decreased invasiveness translates into less pain for the patient.
“Robotic surgery allows us to decrease the level of surgical invasiveness even compared to conventional minimally invasive surgery”
Dr. Daniel Pereda
Best aesthetic result
As with conventional minimally invasive cardiac surgeries, fewer and smaller incisions show better aesthetic results than with open surgery.
Fewer complications and better recovery
All of the above mentioned improves patient recovery. The hospital stay is shorter and less time is needed to return to normal life. In other words, the more we reduce surgical invasiveness, the better patient’s recovery we’ll have.
“With robotic cardiac surgery, the patient’s stay in the hospital is shorter and it takes less time to return to normal life”
Dr. Daniel Pereda
WHICH HEART PATHOLOGIES CAN BE TREATED WITH ROBOTIC CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY?
Currently, “not all cardiac interventions can be done using robotic technology,” Dr. Daniel Pereda affirms. Currently, the surgeries that we can do with the help of the robot are: mitral valve repairs or replacements, septal defects of the tricuspid valve, some types of cardiac tumors (especially benign) and we can also perform arrhythmia surgery, specifically atrial fibrillation.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ROBOTIC CARDIAC SURGERY?
In the future we believe that more patients will be able to benefit from robotic cardiac surgery. Especially as technology and diagnostics improve.With improved diagnosis, more patients will be diagnosed in the early stages; which is when they can benefit the most from robot-assisted cardiac surgery. On the other hand, we believe that through further technological advances we will be able to offer robotic surgery treatments for more pathologies. Come conditions that cannot, at present, be treated in this way, are aortic valve pathologies, for example.