Cardiac surgery refers to surgery on the heart and its supporting structures. When lifestyle changes, medication and other treatment options cannot relieve symptoms, surgery is often recommended for many cardiac conditions such as mitral valve prolapse, atrial septal defect and coronary artery disease.
Traditional open surgery to access the chest cavity requires surgeons to make a long incision through the chest wall, known as thoracotomy. In some cases, the surgeon has to cut open the breastbone at the front of the ribcage (known as a sternotomy)
Less invasive options using smaller incisions are available for many patients. Thoracoscopy is video-assisted surgery that uses a miniature camera to help doctors perform the procedure without splitting the breastbone. This approach does have limitations and is often not appropriate for complex cardiac procedures.
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat a cardiac condition, you may be a candidate for da Vinci Surgery. Using the most advanced technology available, da Vinci Surgery provides your doctor with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
Because your doctor performs da Vinci Surgery through a few tiny incisions between the ribs, splitting your breastbone and ribcage is avoided. The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons and their patients with a minimally invasive treatment option - often even for complex cases.
Compared to traditional open surgery,minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery provides the following potential benefits to cardiac patients:
- Lower risk of major cardiac event during first year after surgery 1
- Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions 1,2
- Less time in intensive care 1,3
- Lower rate of major complications 1
- Shorter hospital stay 1,2,3,4,5,6
- Faster recovery and return to normal daily activities1,3
da Vinci Surgery provides additional potential benefits to patients facing cardiac surgery:
- High likelihood of your mitral valve being repaired versus replaced7
- No large incision or rib spreading (sternotomy)7
The da Vinci System is a state-of-the-art robotic surgical platform with 3D, high-definition vision and miniaturized, wristed instruments designed to help doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. Your doctor controls the da Vinci System which translates his/her hand movements into more precise movements of miniaturized instruments inside your body.
By helping doctors to overcome the challenges of traditional surgery, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for people around the world.
If you have been putting off treatment for a heart condition, it's time to ask your doctor about da Vinci Surgery.
To find a da Vinci cardiac surgeon, use our surgeon locator.
Learn more about da Vinci Surgery for Cardiac Conditions.
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is specific to each patient and procedure. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.
- Poston RS, Tran R, Collins M, Reynolds M, Connerney I, Reicher B, Zimrin D, Griffith BP, Bartlett ST. Comparison of economic and patient outcomes with minimally invasive versus traditional off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting techniques. Ann Surg. 2008 Oct;248(4):638-46.
- Woo YJ, Nacke EA. Robotic minimally invasive mitral valve reconstruction yields less blood product transfusion and shorter length of stay. Surgery 2006;140(2):263-67.
- Kam JK, Cooray SD, Kam JK, Smith JA, Almeida AA. A cost-analysis study of robotic versus conventional mitral valve repair. Heart Lung Circ. 2010 Jul;19(7):413-8. Epub 2010 Mar 30.
- Folliguet T, Vanhuyse F, Constantino X, Realli M, Laborde F. Mitral valve repair robotic versus sternotomy. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2006 Mar;29(3):362-6. Epub 2006 Jan 19.
- Mihaljevic T, Jarrett CM, Gillinov AM, Williams SJ, DeVilliers PA, Stewart WJ, Svensson LG, Sabik JF 3rd, Blackstone EH. Robotic repair of posterior mitral valve prolapse versus conventional approaches: potential realized. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Jan;141(1):72-80.e1-4. Epub 2010 Nov 19.
- Felger JE, Chitwood WR Jr, Nifong LW, Holbert D. Evolution of mitral valve surgery: toward a totally endoscopic approach. Ann Thorac Surg. 2001 Oct;72(4):1203-8; discussion 1208-9.
- Murphy D, Smith JM, Siwek L, Langford DA, Robinson JR, Reynolds B, Kreaden US and Engel A. Multicenter mitral valve study: a lateral approach using the da Vinci Surgical System. Innovations, 2007; 2:56-61.