, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp 558-563

Closed chest totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass surgery: Fantasy or reality?

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With the introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgical system (Intuitive Surgical, Mountain View, CA) into minimally invasive cardiac surgery, the outlook of performing coronary artery bypass operations “closed chest” became a reality. Between May 1999 and July 2000 this wrist-enhanced instrumentation was used in 143 patients (107 men, 36 women, median age 63 ± 10.3 y). Thirteen patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD) were treated as totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB), 79 patients underwent a minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass procedure, and 35 patients were treated using the robotic-enhanced Dresden Technique. Preoperative survival was 100%. All patients in the TECAB group were operated upon via a three- or four-point stab incision using the da Vinci robot for internal mammary artery takedown and for performance of anastomoses. These new robotic-enhanced surgical techniques promote an optimistic way of thinking about the further development of these procedures and its application in patients suffering from CAD.