Robotic Heart Surgery

Saint Joseph’s Visonti Center for Robotic Surgery is among a select few centers in the world with the infrastructure and expertise needed to offer minimally-invasive, robotic heart (cardiac) surgery.

The center has treated thousands of cardiac cases, performed more than 1,500 mitral valve repairs and more than 100 mitral valve replacements.

Thanks to two new technologies available at the center, surgeons can perform endoscopic cardiac surgery, which makes improved repairs with no disturbance to the skeletal cage.  This is accomplished by working inside the chest through small holes, or ports.

The first technology involves robotic instrumentation known as the da Vinci Surgical System.  The second, called port access, involves inserting a family of catheters through the jugular vein and the femoral vessels, providing cardiopulmonary bypass, aortic occlusion and myocardial protection.

By combining da Vinci robotic instrumentation with port access technology, the surgeon can now perform open-heart procedures endoscopically-more accurately and effectively than with conventional approaches.  And the da Vinci can be used in a wide variety of cardiac, thoracic, urological, gynecological and oncology procedures.

Using da Vinci, traditional open surgery can be accomplished endoscopically, with smaller incisions. The da Vinici Surgical System has been used in tens of thousands of minimally invasisve procedures worldwide. For most patients, minimally-invasive  procedures performed with the da Vinci Surgical System can offer numerous potential benefits over open surgery, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of wound infections
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Saint Joseph’s team of robotic surgeons have acquired a level of expertise in robotic-assisted surgery seen in few programs of its kind. In 2002, Saint Joseph’s became the first hospital in Georgia – and one of only a few in the nation – to perform robotic-assisted, totally-endoscopic, closed-chest heart surgery. In 2004, Saint Joseph's was named the exclusive training center in the Southeast for the da Vinci robotic surgical system. As one of only five training sites in the world for the da Vinci Surgical System, physicians from throughout the southeast and around the world are trained in the techniques of robotic-assisted, minimally-invasive surgery by Saint Joseph's physicians.

Range of heart conditions treated
In the hands of the Center’s specially trained team, robotic-assisted surgery  offers solutions for a range of routine and complex cardiac and thoracic conditions:

  • Mitral valve repair
  • Mitral valve replacement
  • Atrial septal defect repair
  • Atrial myxoma and thrombi
  • Coronary bypass (LIMA to LAD)
  • Mediastinal mass excision
  • Thymectomy
  • Epicardial lead placement
  • Pericardial window
  • Cardiac and thoracic tumors

For more information about robotic surgery, call 1-877-250-STJO.