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Over 100 successful surgeries! Why are so many people opting for Robotic Cardiac Surgery?

I am delighted to share that since starting our unit in February 2019, my team and I have now performed over 100 Robotic Cardiac Surgeries, all with excellent outcomes. We started with single-vessel bypass procedures and quickly advanced to performing multi-vessel CABG procedures (coronary artery disease bypass grafts, also known as bypass surgery).


With multi-vessel procedures, we harvest both internal mammary arteries (arteries from the left and right side of the chest wall) and use them to bypass the blocks inside the coronary arteries (blood vessels supplying the heart).
Scientific evidence over the last 30 years or so has shown that using internal mammary arteries provides the best long-term durability, with over 90% of grafts lasting more than 20 years. This long-term durability is particularly advantageous for younger patients when compared to the less advanced practice of using veins in bypass surgery or the non-invasive alternative of stenting (placing a mesh tube inside the arteries to keep them open).


During the pandemic, increasingly more patients started to opt for minimally invasive robotic cardiac surgery. This is mainly due to 2 reasons:

1. Quick Recovery times post-operative hospital stay of only 2 days with full recovery taking only 2 weeks (compared to 2 week post-operative hospital stays and 3-6 month full recovery periods in traditional open heart surgery).

2. Minimal Trauma involved only 3-4 small cuts made in the chest (compared to cutting whole chest open), all being a max of 5cm, meaning that risk of infection is much lower.

These benefits were felt especially during the pandemic when people feared being in a hospital for long periods of time and any infection would put them at a higher risk if they contracted COVID. This surgery has come as a boon to many patients with its benefits being appreciated by all, especially during this pandemic. I hope to continue to be given the opportunity to practise this extremely rewarding profession.


- Edited by Pratham Upadhyay (Medical Student - University College London)