About Intuitive da Vinci® for Cardiac Patients
Understand your Heart Surgery Options
Heart disease is a serious health problem in the U.S. and the leading cause of death in both men and women.1 However, the term “heart disease” covers a variety of conditions that affect the heart. One of the most common is coronary artery disease, which is a cardiovascular (heart plus blood vessels) condition caused by plaque buildup inside your arteries that narrows or closes off blood flow to your heart muscle. Coronary artery disease can result in a heart attack if a blocked artery cuts off blood flow to an area of your heart muscle, depriving it of oxygen.
There are other types of heart disease, as well, including valve disorders. These happen when any of the four valves that keep blood flowing through the heart in the right direction fail to function as they should. Valve problems that develop in adults most often involve the aortic and mitral valves.2
Depending on the type, your symptoms, and if you receive a diagnosis early or after a heart condition has progressed, doctors have many ways to treat heart diseases. Treatments can range from lifestyle changes and medicines to surgery.3
In the past, the only way doctors could operate on the heart was through open surgery. Open heart surgery requires a long incision down the center of the chest. Surgeons must also cut through the breastbone and open the ribcage to allow doctors to see and work on the heart. Though open heart surgery is still performed, surgeons can now perform procedures using minimally invasive approaches.
For coronary artery bypass surgery, two minimally invasive surgical approaches are thoracoscopic surgery or robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci®. These require only a few small incisions that doctors use to insert surgical equipment and a camera for viewing. In thoracoscopic heart surgery, doctors use special long-handled tools to perform surgery while viewing magnified images from the thoracoscope (camera) on a video screen.
For a mitral valve repair, thoracoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery can also be used. A third minimally invasive option repairs the mitral valve using a catheter. A small incision is made in the groin, then a thin tube (catheter) is threaded through a vein toward the heart. Once there, surgeons will repair or replace the valve.
The surgeon console is where your surgeon sits during the procedure, has a close-up 3D view of your anatomy, and controls the instruments. The instruments are “wristed” and move like a human hand, but with a far greater range of motion.
The patient-side cart is positioned near the patient on the operating table. It is where the instruments used during the operation move in real-time in response to your surgeon’s hand movements at the surgeon console.
The vision cart makes communication between the components of the system possible and supports the latest 3D high-definition vision system.
It is important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with da Vinci is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.
Robotic-Assisted Cardiac Procedures
Talk with your doctor if you have any additional questions about these procedures.
- Heart Disease Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 25 January 2019.
- Heart Valve Disease. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Web. 25 January 2019.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Web. 25 January 2019.
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Important Safety Information
Patients should talk to their doctors to decide if da Vinci® surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on nonsurgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision.
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques, which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety.
Individuals’ outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and/or surgeon experience.
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This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.