Surgery is generally the most effective way to treat disorders of the heart, lungs and esophagus. But traditional open surgery has a number of drawbacks caused primarily by the large incision required, splitting the breastbone and spreading the ribs to access the chest cavity. In addition to an 8 to 10” scar down the center of your chest, splitting of the breastbone leads to a long recovery time of eight to twelve weeks as well as a long delay before you will return to normal daily activities.

Fortunately, less invasive options are available for patients facing cardiothoracic surgery. Many cardiothoracic surgeons now recognize the benefits of small incisions made between the ribs to perform coronary bypass or make repairs to the heart or esophagus by using thoracoscopy – the insertion of a miniaturized video camera between the ribs. But this approach has limitations and is not often appropriate for more complex cardiac procedures.

da Vinci Cardiothoracic Surgery

The da Vinci® Surgical System provides surgeons and patients with what may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option for even the most complex cardiothoracic procedures. Among the potential benefits of da Vinci cardiothoracic surgery are:

  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities

Also, surgery with da Vinci offers the potential for a better clinical outcome.

da Vinci Surgery is used for common cardiothoracic conditions such as:

  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

da Vinci coronary bypass

da Vinci Prostatectomy

da Vinci Prostatectomy

Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to treat severe CAD, ease your symptoms and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Both angioplasty and bypass surgery are used as treatments.

da Vinci Surgery is a breakthrough surgical system that enables surgeons to operate with unmatched precision, 3D-high definition vision and superior control. By overcoming the limitations of traditional open surgery, da Vinci is revolutionizing cardiothoracic surgery.

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is patient-and procedure specific.

If you have been told you need bypass surgery, ask your doctor about da Vinci Surgery for coronary artery disease. This procedure is performed without the need for a heart-lung machine, minimally invasively through small incisions made between the ribs. This avoids the need for a sternotomy, its associated risks and complications. da Vinci® Coronary Revascularization can also offer several potential benefits over open heart surgery, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay 3
  • Less pain and scarring 2
  • Less risk of infection 2
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions 3
  • Faster recovery 2
  • Quicker return to normal activities 2
1. “What to Expect During Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting”, National Institutes of Health, www.nhlbi.nih.gov , URL: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cabg/cabg_during.html
2. “How is Coronary Artery Disease Treated?” National Institutes of Health, www.nhlbi.nih.gov , URL: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Cad/CAD_Treatments.html
3. Poston RS, Tran R, Collins M, Reynolds M, Connerney I, Reicher B, Zimrin D, Griffith BP, Bartlett ST. Comparison of economic and patient outcomes with minimally invasive versus traditional off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting techniques. Ann Surg. 2008 Oct;248(4):638-46.

da Vinci® Mitral Valve Repair

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat mitral valve prolapse, you may be a candidate for da Vinci® Mitral Valve Repair, potentially the most effective and least invasive treatment option available.

da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair is an alternative to conventional open heart surgery – the traditional way to treat mitral valve disease. da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair is performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, enabling your surgeon to operate with unparalleled precision and control through a few small incisions.

da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair

da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair

da Vinci can help your surgeon repair your valve and help you avoid mitral valve replacement. With valve replacement, your natural valve tissues are cut away and replaced with an artificial valve. This is important because a repair can provide you with many significant advantages as compared with mitral valve replacement, including: no need to take life-long blood thinners, less need for future valve operations1,2, reduced risk of surgical complications 3, a higher long-term survival rate 4, 5, 6and improved heart function4.  A recent study suggests that the da Vinci System may allow surgeons to complete 50% more repairs than they can when using an open surgical approach. 7

In addition to avoiding the pain and trauma of sternotomy (cracking open the breastbone to access the heart) and rib spreading, da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair may provide patients with the following benefits over open surgery:

  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Significantly less pain and scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • And a potentially better clinical outcome

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair is considered safe and effective, it may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

1. Rodgers, E. Heart valve repair or replacement for mitral valve regurgitation or prolapse. WebMD. March 10, 2005  Bach DS. Choice of prosthetic heart valves:update for the next generation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Nov 19;42(10):1717-9.2. Ruel M, Kulik A, Rubens FD, Bedard P, Masters RG, Pipe AL, Mesana TG.  Late incidence and determinants of reoperation in patients with prosthetic heart valves. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg . 2004 Mar;25(3):364-70.
3. Thourani VH, Weintraub WS, Guyton RA, et al.  Outcomes and Long-Term Survival for Patients Undergoing Mitral Valve Repair Versus Replacement.  Circulation . 2003;108:298-304 ( Emory University Atlanta )
4. Enriquez-Sarano M, Schaff HV, Orszulak TA, Tajik AJ, Bailey KR, Frye RL: Valve repair improves the outcome of surgery for mitral regurgitation: a long-term study. Circulation. 1995; 91:1022-8
5. Gillinov AM, Wierup PN, Blackstone EH, et al. Is Repair Preferable to Replacement for Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation? J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2001 Dec; 122(6):1125-41 ( Cleveland Clinic)
6.  Grossi E, Goldberg J, LaPietra A, et al.  Ischemic mitral valve reconstruction and replacement:  Comparison of long term survival and complications.  J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2001 Dec; 122(6):1107-24 (NYU)
7. 96.2% received a repair with da Vinci Surgery, as reported by Douglas Murphy, MD, compared to 60% of patients in the Fall 2005 Sternotomy database, where 42,000 out of 70,000 received a replacement. See Society for Thoracic Surgeons & Duke Clinical Research Institute. Executive Summary. STS Fall 2005 Report. Murphy D, Smith M, Siwek L, Langford D, Robinson JR, Reynolds B,  Seshadri-Kreaden U, Engel A. Multicenter Mitral Valve Study: a Lateral Approach using the da Vinci Surgical System. Pending publication. Data on file with Intuitive Surgical, Inc.While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.