Lourdes Performs its First Robot-Assisted, Hybrid Heart Procedure
Monday, August 15, 2011
Hospital continues as leader in robotic surgery for South Jersey
Arthur T. Martella, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, and Anil G. Kothari, MD, FACC, FSCA & I of South Jersey Heart Group, an affiliate of Lourdes Health System, performed the hospital's first "hybrid" heart surgery. Hybrid heart surgery utilizes the strengths of a surgical approach -- in this case using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System -- to treatment with that of a catheter-based interventional procedure.
The patient, a 64-year-old woman, suffered from multi-vessel coronary artery disease. This condition is what ultimately led Drs. Martella and Kothari to choose the hybrid surgery option.
"Since the patient's case was more complex, we chose to do a hybrid procedure. There are some vessels on the heart that the interventional cardiologist is better at treating than the surgeon. Similarly, there are some vessels that the surgeon can treat more effectively than the cardiologist," said Dr. Martella.
This innovative hybrid procedure combines minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery with stenting, and is very much a joint effort between the surgeon and the cardiologist. The cardiologist inserts stents while the surgeon uses robotics for the remainder of the procedure.
This minimally invasive, hybrid approach offers several advantages compared to open-chest procedures, including:
- Reduced trauma and pain from not breaking the breastbone
- Less blood loss
- Reduced risk of infection
- Smaller incisions with minimal scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster return to normal activities
After the procedure, the patient is recovering well, according to Dr. Martella, who recently joined Lourdes and is a nationally recognized leader in robot-assisted cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Martella predicts this type of minimally invasive procedure will become more common as interventionalists and surgeons work together to provide less-invasive approaches to complex conditions.