Robotic Surgery Technology Used For Cardiac Procedures

The Strong Heart and Vascular Center is now using robotic surgery technology for various cardiac procedures. Cardiac surgeons at the Strong Heart and Vascular Center are the first in Upstate New York to use robotic technology laparoscopically to assist in the operating room.

The daVinci Surgical System is used for cardiac-related surgery, such as:

These procedures are done laparoscopically, eliminating the need for large incisions.

The leading-edge technology consists of a robotic arm that performs surgeries using movements to replicate a surgeon’s motions. The movements are controlled from across the room by a surgeon using virtual images provided by laparoscopic cameras.

The benefits of the technology have a significant impact on patients and their outcomes. Because the cases are done laparoscopically, significantly smaller incisions are made that result in faster recovery time and a lower chance of infection or other complications. The procedures themselves can be even more accurate than traditional surgery, with steadier “hands” at the surgical site being directed by a surgeon.

“The option to perform mitral valve and atrial septal defect cases using a less-invasive method has a significant impact on patient care,” says George Hicks, chair of the Division of Cardiac Surgery.

“Although heart bypass operations are not yet approved using this technology, we expect to receive the FDA’s go-ahead within the next year. We will then have the ability to do a number of our present cardiac cases robotically, which will substantially benefit our patients during and after surgery.”

How It Works

The daVinci Surgical System has been incorporated into the new operating room facilities at Strong Memorial Hospital. Patients are positioned as they would be during traditional surgery, with medical personnel surrounding them, yet a surgeon is located at a console a few feet away.

Although the surgeon is not physically in contact with the patient, the daVinci control console allows the surgeon to actually see the surgical field in enhanced detail as a result of the three-dimensional image transmitted from the laparoscopic cameras. The surgeon manipulates the robotic “hands” in real-time using master controls, seeing minute, 3-D details inside the patient with the aid of the cameras located inside the patient.

Two robotic arms and one laparoscopic arm execute the surgeon’s commands. Supporting surgical team members install the correct instruments, prepare 1-centimeter incisions in the patient, and supervise the laparoscopic arms and tools being used. The instruments are designed with seven degrees of motion that mimic the dexterity of the human wrist. Each instrument has a specific surgical mission such as clamping, suturing and tissue manipulation.

Revolutionizing Surgery

The technology allows surgeons to view the surgical site in a way they haven’t been able to in the past.

The addition of the daVinci Robotic System revolutionizes the field of surgery, particularly cardiac cases, says heart surgeon George Hicks.

Contact Us

For more information about cardiac-related robotic surgery or to refer a patient for a consultation, call us at 585-275-5384.

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