Shreveport, Louisiana, Dec. 20, 2021– CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center is celebrating a landmark milestone in cardiovascular care with the announcement of the successful completion of the first minimally invasive robotic -assisted heart surgery.
On Thursday, December 16, Timothy Danish, M.D., CHRISTUS Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon, and the CHRISTUS surgical heart team specially-trained in robotics used the daVinci XI Surgical System to perform a coronary artery single vessel bypass graft on a 68-year-old male.
“It was a smashing success-the patient is doing well and we’re extremely excited about it,” said Dr. Danish.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery is a common heart procedure; and now patients in the Ark-La-Tex have a less invasive option available at CHRISTUS Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. The robotics technology changes the field of vision for the surgeon, providing 10 to 15 times magnification-a significant increase over the standard surgical loops, which only provide 3 to 4 times magnification. The robotics increases the safety of the procedure by allowing the surgeon to control the viewfinder and surgical instruments in real time from a workstation instead of standing throughout a long and complex procedure. The computer interface also has the ability to provide more exact needle placement, which is critical to the success of heart surgery. The heart’s blood flow can be re-established to the affected area of the heart without having to open the chest cavity. Instead, the heart is accessed through small incisions made between the ribs.
During the procedure, the surgeon is seated at a workstation a few feet away from the patient, and controls three robotic arms on the operating table, which become his or her eyes and hands for the minimally invasive surgery. While viewing a video monitor to see the surgical site, the surgeon expertly maneuvers instrument handles on the surgical robot to replicate those movements with the instrument tips at the site of surgery.
“The robotic approach of this procedure minimizes the trauma of the surgery,” said Dr. Danish. There is a huge benefit to not having a full sternotomy, having the chest fully opened during the procedure. We anticipate that it will lead to a quicker recovery, a shorter hospital stay, and less pain for the patient.”
Upon completion of the procedure, Dr. Danish and his team immediately transferred the patient from the operating room to the heart catheterization lab for a post-procedural angiogram to ensure proper blood flow and function of the newly bypassed artery. The morning after surgery, the patient reported minimal pain and was mobile and comfortable. He has since been discharged and is now recovering at home.
“It was functioning beautifully, we are very pleased,” said Dr. Danish. “Our team is extraordinary. They’re very hard working and dedicated. I am one piece of the puzzle, with the whole team we were able to accomplish something amazing for this patient and for the future of heart surgery in our community.”
The successful completion of this robotic heart surgery is the latest innovative achievement CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System unveiled as its new state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, a $43 million investment in facilities and technology at CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center, nears completion. Patients now have access to cutting-edge robotic heart therapy without having to travel out of the region.
“It truly is a remarkable accomplishment, being able to be one of the first to offer patients in north Louisiana a robotic bypass procedure that accelerates the healing process and allows the patient to get on with life with a new artery graft that traditionally required open heart surgery. Having this performed on our campus is historic for cardiac care in this region,” said Steen Trawick, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System.
For more information on cardiovascular services offered at CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center, visit https://www.christushealth.org/trinity/clinic/locations-directions/cardiovascular-thoracic-surgery .