Robotic-Assisted Surgery for the Heart

If your doctor has recommended surgery to repair your heart, you may be a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery. Robotic-assisted surgery can sometimes be used to repair or replace a damaged mitral valve or perform coronary bypass surgery to restore blood flow to your heart.

Unlike open heart surgery, there is no need to cut through your breast bone or spread your ribs, and surgeons do not need to use a heart lung machine which stops your heart during surgery. Minimally invasive robotic-assisted procedures use a few small incisions (cuts) between your ribs.

A thin tube with a camera provides a high-resolution, 3D image of the inside of the chest cavity. The surgeon uses handheld controls to manipulate robotic arms that hold special surgical instruments. Unlike a human hand, the robotic “wrists” can rotate 360 degrees and move in very tiny increments. This allows the surgeon:

  • Greater surgical precision
  • Increased range of motion
  • Enhanced views, including areas that may not be seen by the naked eye
  • Improved access to hard-to-reach areas
  • Improved ability to spare healthy tissue not impacted by cancer

Compared to open surgery, the use of robotic-assisted heart surgery offers patients potential benefits, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Low need for transfusions
  • Lower rate of major complications
  • Shorter time in intensive care
  • Fast improvement of physical function following surgery
  • Small incisions for minimal scarring

At Mercy we have the skilled surgeons and advanced technology to handle the most complex heart repairs. Or goal is to get and keep your heart healthy, so you can get back to doing all the things you love.