Robotic Heart Surgery

Robotic heart surgery hand simulatorWhat is Robotic Heart Surgery?

Robotic heart surgery is a remarkable new technology that allows surgeons to perform heart surgery using robotic technology that accesses the heart through small incisions.  The heart surgeons at Raney Zusman Medical Group use the da Vinci® System to operate through small incisions made between the ribs.  Research data suggests this minimally invasive heart surgery technique may result in shorter recovery time, decreased pain and trauma, and a quicker return to normal activities.


During the operation, the surgeon is seated at a console away from the patient. The console has a three-dimensional viewing system that provides the surgeon with an clear view of the heart.  The surgeon then controls surgical instruments within the operative site.  "The robotic arms both mimic and enhance the surgeon's own hand movements, rendering them more precise by minimizing even slight hand tremor - an important element when operating on such delicate tissue," explains Aidan A. Raney, MD, medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Hoag hospital.  "The improved visualization and precision of robotic assistance helps to minimize the trauma of surgery, while providing the same favorable patient outcomes."

How is Robotic Heart Surgery different from Traditional Surgery?

  • Three tiny incisions (holes or “ports”) are made in between the ribs (pictured below)
  • The robotic arms and a tiny camera are placed through the ports
  • Motion sensors are attached to the robotic “wrists” so the surgeon can control the movement
  • Instruments are placed in the robotic arms
  • The surgeon sits at a computer and looks through two lenses, one for each eye, connected to two cameras inside the patient. The surgeon has a three-dimensional  and magnified view inside the patient’s body.  The surgeon uses pedals to control the cameras and the surgical view
  • The surgeon’s hands are used to control the tiny instruments inside the patient.  The surgeon is always in control and there is no chance the robotic arms will move on their own
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Incisions


Robotic Heart SurgeryWhat Types of Surgery can be Performed Robotically?

Our surgeons use robotic heart surgery for multiple applications, including robotic surgery for atrial septal defect, robotic coronary artery bypass surgery, and robotic mitral valve repair.  However, robotic surgery is not appropriate for every patient needing mitral valve, coronary artery bypass, or ASD repair.  Since the goal of a repair is a successful surgical result that lasts a lifetime, each patient is evaluated individually to determine if robotic surgery should be performed.


For more information about robotic surgery, please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our cardiac surgeons.

More Information on Robotic Heart Surgery

  • Robotic Heart Surgery from da Vinci Surgical
  • Robot reinvents bypass surgery -

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Reader Comments (1)

Good For you Dr. Raney and Dr. Zusman. My name is Eileen Alexander R.N. I use to work with you both at Hoag Hospital in Post-Op and CCU. Its nice to see how far you have come in technology since being at Hoag Hospital. When I left, you were just starting to do single vessel bypass using laproscopy. Im very impressed with how far you have come. If I ever have any heart conditions or any family or friend I will be sure to send them to you both. Thank you for all you have done for the community. Eileen Alexander(McNeal) R.N.
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