Dr. Raczkowski introduces himself and discusses how minimally invasive robotic heart surgery differs from traditional heart surgery.
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Minimally Invasive Robotic Heart Surgery Vs Traditional Heart Surgery My name is Dr. Allen Raczkowski. I am a cardiovascular surgeon who primarily specializes in minimally invasive heart surgery, primarily consisting of the use of the da Vinci® robot in common cardiac procedures such as valve surgery and coronary artery bypass. I have been doing this since 2003, for the last six years, and we have developed a program here at Banner Heart Hospital, which allows us to do minimally invasive surgery. All the common operations such as mitral valve work, repairs, replacements of those valves, coronary artery bypass, other problems associated with the heart, we are now able to do with small incisions for faster recovery, less pain involved with the procedure itself, and getting back to a more normal lifestyle in a much quicker timeframe. Traditional heart surgery has relied on exposure of the heart so that the surgeon could repair the valves or do the bypass procedure. So it required a sternotomy consisting of splitting the breastbone and then expanding that incision out for anywhere from six to eight inches to expose all the structures of the heart. Patients then are put on a bypass device to support the circulation during the time of the heart surgery. Minimally invasive robotic heart surgery basically stops the use of sternotomy and allows us to do the same procedures through small incisions, roughly the size of a dime. Several of these incisions are made in the chest and the robot allows us to do those very precise procedures through these very tiny incisions by allowing us to actually go inside the body through the use of video cameras, and those small instruments going through the ports or small incisions in the chest.