At Emory, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of modern medicine in an effort to discover safer, more effective ways of healing patients. At Emory Heart & Vascular, we’ve made remarkable strides in minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) through the use of robotic technology.
Our minimally invasive CABG procedure utilizes a robotically assisted endoscopic technique, allowing the procedure to be performed with small incisions between the ribs, as opposed to opening the chest through splitting the breastbone (median sternotomy).
One of the many advantages of robotic-assisted CABG is that it doesn’t require the use of a heart-lung machine, or cardiopulmonary bypass, and can be performed without dividing the ribs or sternum. Therefore, the recovery from the procedure can be considerably shorter, and may be associated with a lower risk of some complications. Most patients are able to leave the hospital in as few as three days, and may return to normal activities in two-three weeks, as opposed to two-three months—the recovery time period generally associated with traditional CABG surgery.
Robotic-assisted CABG is most often performed on patients with single-vessel coronary artery disease. However, the procedure can be part of a hybrid approach for patients with multi-vessel disease. With a hybrid revascularization approach, surgeons work together with interventional cardiologists to combine the benefits of surgery with the benefits of stenting. Typically, the surgeon will perform a single-vessel robotic-assisted CABG for a blocked artery on the front of the heart, and cardiologists can perform a stenting procedure to the other blocked vessels.
Emory has been performing minimally invasive CABG since 2003, and is one of only a few medical facilities in the country offering the procedure.
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About Michael E. Halkos, MD:
Joining the faculty in July 2009, Dr. Halkos received his MD and did his general and cardiothoracic surgical training as well as a two year research fellowship at Emory. He is currently Editor of the Resident Section of CTSNet and serves on the Executive Committee of the Thoracic Surgeons Residents Association. His clinical specialties include off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair/replacement surgery, and minimally-invasive valve and coronary surgery, and his research interests are stroke after cardiac surgery and surgical outcomes.