Ever imagined what goes through the mind of a patient when he or she is told that they need to undergo a surgery?And then,after the patient has gathered enough courage and has submitted to it,the trauma it leaves behind is severe. Robotic cardiac surgery is a breakthrough development which provides greater advantages for heart patients for and post surgery.The use of minimally invasive procedures has not only changed the performance but also the strategic approaches to surgeries in general.Also,surgical robots have enhanced the ability and precision of the surgeon.
Robotic cardiac surgery ,also called closed chest heart surgery, is done through very small cuts in the chest rather than a median sternotomy (cutting through the breastbone).An incision in the right side of the chest between the ribs offers quicker recovery and better outcomes for many patients.
The surgeon uses a specially-designed computer console to control surgical instruments on thin robotic arms. This technology allows surgeons to perform certain types of complex heart surgeries with smaller incisions and precise motion control, offering patients improved outcomes. With the use of tiny instruments and robot-controlled tools, surgeons are able to do heart surgery in a way that is very much less invasive than open-heart surgery. The procedure is sometimes called da Vinci surgery after the manufacturer of the robot often used for this procedure.
Candidates for Robot Surgery
The treatment type recommended for your condition will depend on several factors like the type and severity of heart disease, age, medical history and lifestyle etc.Several diagnostic tests are carried out to determine if you are appropriate for robotic cardiac surgery.This include a cardiac catheterization and chest x-ray. An echocardiogram and/or a computed tomography scan also may be required to provide more details about the medical condition.After reviewing the results of all these tests,doctors conclude whether to take robotic cardiac surgery or not.
Types of robotic cardiac surgery
- Mitral valve repair and replacement
- Tricuspid valve repair and replacement
- Aortic valve replacement
- Ablation of atrial fibrillation or Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Saphenous vein harvest for coronary artery bypass surgery
- Atrial septal defect (ASD) repair
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO) repair
- Removal of cardiac tumors (Myxoma, Fibroelastoma)
- Combined coronary artery bypass and angioplasty
With open heart surgery ,splitting the sternum and spreading the rib cage to gain access to the heart contribute to significant morbidity. Also,cardiac surgery is different than other surgical procedures because the heart-lung machine adds further morbidity which is avoided in closed chest heart surgery.In addition,other advantages are
- Less blood loss
- Lower risk of infection
- Reduced trauma and pain
- Shorter time in the hospital, faster recovery and quicker return to normal activities
- Smaller, less noticeable scars.Traditional surgery would leave a 20 cm scar for rest of the life.
As with any surgery,robotic assisted surgeries also pose some risks.Although the minimally invasive procedure removes many complications,some possible risks are
- Heart attack
In some cases, doctor may not be able to complete the surgery with the robot. In that case, open-heart surgery may be needed.
Technological advances have facilitated totally endoscopic/key hole robotic cardiac surgery.In India several hospitals provide minimally invasive endoscopic surgeries.The success rate is very high ,more than 92%.The potential in this technology is enormous and the path is minimal.
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