Lourdes Expands Breadth of Cardiac Robotic Program with First Robot-Assisted Mitral Valve Surgery in South Jersey
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center has performed the first mitral valve surgery using the advanced da Vinci Robotic Surgical System in southern New Jersey. The surgery positions the medical center as the most comprehensive da Vinci cardiac and thoracic program in the state.
Arthur T. Martella, MD, FACS, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, performed the surgery. Dr. Martella is a pioneer in the use of robotics for cardiac and thoracic surgery and the only surgeon in New Jersey to perform beating heart surgery using the da Vinci robot.
"We are very pleased to offer this cutting edge technology to our patients for mitral valve and other cardiac procedures," says Dr. Martella. "Not only does the robot increase the precision of the surgery, but it also reduces trauma which translates into a better surgery for the patient with reduced complications, shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to their normal life."
The mitral valve controls blood flow through the left side of the heart. When it is abnormal or damaged, the mitral valve cannot completely seal, allowing blood to escape the left ventricle and flow backwards through the valve. This makes the heart work harder and can lead to complications such as congestive heart failure. Treatment for mitral valve disease consists of either repairing or replacing the valve.
Traditional mitral valve surgery requires splitting the breastbone to gain access to the heart. Due to advances in minimally invasive surgery, mitral valve surgery can now be performed using robotic technology which avoids the breastbone entirely.
While this approach is more technically demanding, robot-assisted mitral valve surgery offers added benefits including:
- Less risk of infection
- Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
- Shorter hospital stay
- Significantly less pain and scarring
- Faster recovery
- Quicker return to normal activities
- A potentially better clinical outcome
"The incorporation of the da Vinci robot into cardiac procedures at Lourdes allows us to treat patients more effectively," says Dr. Martella. "Our goal is to do more complicated surgeries utilizing robotic technology in the future."