Since 1997, both the Cleveland Clinic and London Health Sciences Centre groups have embraced robotic assistance and more recently demonstrated the efficacy of this technology in totally closed-chest, beating heart myocardial revascularization. This endeavor involved an orderly progression and the learning of new surgical skill sets. We review the evolution of robot-enhanced coronary surgery and forecast the future of endoscopic and computer-enhanced, robotic-enabling technology for coronary revascularization. This report describes a computer-assisted totally closed-chest coronary bypass operation, and preliminary results are discussed. The internal thoracic artery (ITA) was harvested through three 5-mm access ports and prepared and controlled endoscopically. A prototype sternal elevator was used to increase intrathoracic working space. A 10-mm endoscopic stabilizer was placed through the second intercostal space, and the left anterior descending coronary artery was controlled with silastic snares. Telerobotic anastomoses were completed end-to-side using custom-made, double-armed 8-0 polytetrafluroethylene sutures. To date, 84 patients have undergone successful myocardial revascularization with robotic assistance with a 0% surgical mortality rate. ITA harvest, anastomotic, and operating times for the entire group have been longer than for conventional surgery at 61.3 ± 17.9 minutes, 28.5 ± 28.2 minutes, and 368 ± 129 minutes, respectively. Bleeding, ventilatory times, arrhythmias, hospital lengths of stay, and return to normal activity have been reduced. Recently, we have developed a new robotic revascularization strategy called Atraumatic Coronary Artery Bypass that is a promising mid-term step on the pathway to totally endoscopic, beating-heart coronary artery bypass. We conclude that computer-enhanced robotic techniques are safe, and further clinical studies are required to define the full potential of this evolving technology.
- Minimally invasive surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine