First Robotic Assisted Cardiac Surgery in Hospital da Luz

Dr. Ricardo Arruda, cardiac surgeon at the Hospital da Luz, recently performed the first myocardial revascularization surgery with support from the Da Vinci SI HD robotic surgery system.  The surgery was assisted by Dr. Jean-Luc Jansens, a surgeon from Europe Hospitals in Brussels. This procedure was the first of its kind performed in Portugal.

The intervention was completed without complications, and the patient discharged in less than 72 hours after surgery.

Coronary bypass can be performed by open surgery – which uses an incision along the midline of about 15 cm in length including the sternum (sternotomy) - or with robotic surgery support which uses three small incisions, so that the instruments coupled to the robotic arms of the system can reach the heart, in addition to a transversal incision between two ribs of 7 to 10 cm (minithoracotomy) in length.

With this technique, the robot is used to prepare the left internal mammary artery, in the pericardectomy, in the search and preparation of the vessel where the anastomosis (bypass) will be made.  This is achieved through the three small incisions, with about 1cm, so that the robotic arms can access the left thoracic cavity. The bypass is made with a direct view of the heart beating, through a left minithoractomy, with 7 to 10 cm. In this way it is possible to avoid the sternotomy and the need for extracorporeal circulation.