Robot-Assisted Heart Surgery: Is It For You?

Robotically-assisted heart surgery is also called closed-chest heart surgery. It is a minimally invasive heart surgery that a cardiac surgeon performs. A specially-designed computer console is used by the surgeon to control surgical instruments on thin robotic arms. The advancements in robot-assisted surgeries have allowed surgeons to carry out some kinds of complex heart surgeries with smaller incisions and precise motion control. This leads to improved outcomes for patients.

Who is a Good Candidate?

Diagnostic tests will be done to identify if a patient is a good candidate for robotic heart surgery. Also, the patient may have to undergo an echocardiogram and/or a computed tomography scan to get more information on their medical condition.

The results of the tests will be reviewed by the surgeon. The kind of treatment recommended for the patient’s condition will depend on some factors such as the kind and severity of heart disease, the age of the patient, medical history, and lifestyle.

How Robotic Surgery is Performed

The surgeon will create three small incisions in the spaces between the ribs. They place the surgical instruments attached to the robotic arm and a camera through such ports. Also, they will attach motion sensors to the robotic wrist to allow the surgeon to control the movement of the instruments. When the surgeon sits at a computer console, they will look through two lenses that display images from the specialized camera. The camera has a couple of optical outputs. The computer generates a three-dimensional image of the surgical site from the two optical outputs. The hands of the surgeon control the movement and placement of the endoscopic instruments.

Benefits of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robotically-assisted surgery involves only small incisions which mean minimal scarring, reduced risk of infection, and less bleeding. Also, the patient will experience fewer traumas and less pain. They often have to stay only from 3 to 4 days. With this form of surgery, the patient will recover from it within a short period and return to their daily activities as soon as they feel up to it. The patient does not need to think about specific activity restrictions after any robotically-assisted surgery.

Possible Risks of Surgery

Just like other forms of surgery, robot-assisted heart surgeries come with some risks. These risks are associated with the patient’s age, medical conditions, and the number of procedures they undergo during one operation. The surgeon will talk to the patient before the surgery.

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