In robot-assisted mitral valve repair surgery, two board-certified cardiac surgeons use robotic equipment to perform the exact same procedure conducted in traditional open chest heart surgery, without needing to make a large incision through your breast bone. The surgeons perform the procedure through small incisions in the right chest, using finger-sized instruments that are slipped in between the ribs. In this procedure, one surgeon sits at a remote console and views the heart using a magnified high-definition 3D view on a video monitor. Another surgeon works at the operating table and ensures the safe movement of the robotic arms. The patient will need to be supported by a heart-lung bypass machine during the procedure. This will allow the surgeons to stop the heart briefly and insert instruments into the inner chambers to repair the mitral valve. Robotic arms are used to duplicate specific maneuvers used in open-chest surgeries The procedure is performed through small openings in the chest, through which will be inserted micro instruments and a thin high-definition camera tube or thoracoscope. The surgeon performs the procedure from the remote console and it’s hand movements are translated precisely to the robotic arms at the operating table, which move like a human wrist. At the operating table, another surgeon works together with the surgeon at the console to perform the procedure and ensure it is conducted safely and efficiently. The surgeon at the console can closely examine the complicated mitral valve problem using the high-definition 3D video monitor. This allows him to have a clearer, more lifelike perspective of your heart than is possible during open heart surgery, in which surgeons view the heart from a further distance.
To repair the mitral valve, an incision is made in the left upper chamber or left atrium of the heart to access the mitral valve. The surgeon can then identify the problem with the mitral valve and repair the valve itself. In mitral valve prolapse, the mitral valve, located between the heart’s left atrium and the left lower chamber or left ventricle, doesn’t close properly. The leaflets of the valve bulge or prolapse upward or back into the left atrium as your heart contracts. This leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation. To repair this condition, various complicated technical procedures are performed. Sometimes a small section of the leaflet, the part of the valve that doesn’t close properly, is identified, and a triangular section is removed, as shown. The surgeon then stitches the cut edges of the leaflet together to repair the valve.
In other cases, new chords or chordae supporting the broken leaflet are inserted An annuloplasty band is then placed around the circumference of the valve to stabilize the repair. The surgeon will close the incisions in your chest after the procedure. In robot-assisted heart surgery, most people have a quicker recovery, smaller incisions, and less pain than following open-chest surgery.
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