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Robotic Cardiac Surgery

Robot-assisted cardiac surgery is a class of minimally invasive surgery which involves the use of a high-end robotic suite. The suite consists of robot arms controlled by the surgeon at a console with an assistant on standby. The size of the incision required is about 8 mm which significantly reduces chest wall trauma and enables significantly faster recovery. At Apollo Heart Institute, Hyderabad, we perform Robot-assisted CABG (bypass surgery) to treat coronary artery disease.

Robot-assisted surgery as a choice of treatment

Depending on the nature of the coronary artery block inferred using a range of diagnostic tests, a team of cardiologists and surgeons will discuss the right option for you. The treatment options for coronary artery disease could range across.

  • Angioplasty or stenting (interventional cardiology)
  • Conventional open-heart surgery (surgery involving cutting breast-bone and use of heart-lung machine)
  • Conventional beating heart surgery (surgery involving cutting breast-bone without use of heart-lung machine)
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery – MIDCAB (minimal access surgery involving a 3-4 inch incision between the ribs for access to the chest cavity)
  • Robot-assisted angioplasty (8 mm incision using robot arms controlled by the surgeon)
  • Medical management

There are several factors taken into consideration during the choice of approach – all approaches may not be equally feasible or medically indicated. Please discuss with your doctor to take an informed decision on what is right for you.

How it’s done and what to expect

Robot-assisted bypass surgery begins by creating small incisions of 8 mm at multiple points in the chest. In parallel harvesting of a combination of arteries and veins is done from the leg using minimally invasive means. The graft is then applied to the coronary artery/arteries with the help of robotic arms controlled by the surgeon through the console. The 3D magnified vision offered at the console affords significantly more precision for the surgeon as compared to conventional surgery techniques.

Some of the advantages of Robot-assisted surgery are:

  • Shorter hospital stay (3-4 days vs 7+ days in Open Heart surgery)
  • Faster mobilization and recovery (1-2 weeks vs 8-10 weeks in Open Heart surgery)
  • Lower chest wall trauma
  • Minimal surgical scars
  • No broken bones
  • Minimal blood loss and no blood transfusion are required
  • Lower rate of infection
  • Better success in case of re-op

The Apollo Edge

  • 1st hospital to perform Robot Assisted Cardiac Surgery
  • Home to Da Vinci XI Robotic system – the most advanced surgical suite in the world
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