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Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery

Print version ISSN 0102-7638On-line version ISSN 1678-9741


SANT'ANNA, Roberto T. et al. Robotic systems in cardiovascular surgery. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc [online]. 2004, vol.19, n.2, pp.171-178. ISSN 0102-7638.

The development of robotic systems for surgery started in the 80's, motivated by the US army's need for surgical procedure in field hospitals with surgeons in a distant location (tele-presence). But the first human application of robotic surgery occurred years later in a transurethral resection for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cardiac surgeons were attracted to the robotic techniques because of the potential reduction in the invasive character of the procedures. This results in reduced trauma, a reduction of pain and morbidity, a faster recovery and lower cost of surgery. Robotic systems were developed, allowing totally thoracoscopic cardiac surgery for myocardial revascularization and multi-site pacemaker implantation in selected cases. Video-thoracoscopic support systems for internal thoracic artery harvesting, mitral valve reconstruction and correction of congenital heart defects also exist. We used the AESOP® system with HERMES® voice control to harvest the internal thoracic artery, trans-thoracic implantation of the left ventricular electrode and as an approach to congenital heart defects for surgical repair. In spite of scientific enthusiasm related to robotic surgery, there is no clear evidence of superiority of this technique when compared to conventional procedures in terms of results. The same is true with the cost of the procedures, and even if a single robotic surgery is less expensive, the initial investment for a complete robotic system (console, video control, instruments) can be compensated only with many procedures over the long term. But there is no doubt that robotic surgery will have a place in the future of surgery, providing tele-presence of the surgeon, enabling teaching and training and performing less invasive surgical procedures.

Keywords : Robotics; Cardiac surgical procedures [methods]; Surgical procedures [minimally invasive].

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