A Cleveland Clinic surgeon was the first to perform a robot-assisted coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). Johannes Bonatti, MD, chairman of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, performed the surgery in Cleveland on Oct. 2, 2012.
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Mr. German with Dr. Bonatti and Team
Instead of opening up the chest, the surgery was done through a closed chest with robotic assistance. The patient was an 84-year-old man. The operation was performed through four small incisions in the patient’s chest. Dr. Bonatti sat at a console and manipulated levers that controlled the robotic arms.
The robotic arms were connected to long-thin instruments placed in the four small incisions. A miniature video camera transmitted an image from the site of the surgery inside the patient’s body to a video screen in the surgical console. The surgeon viewed the screen while he manipulated the robotic arms. An experienced surgical team was next to the patient assisting throughout procedure. Dr. Bonatti performed this procedure on a beating heart.
The patient was sitting in a chair the next morning. “He can expect a very fast recovery”, Dr. Bonatti said.
Cleveland Clinic was the site of the first coronary artery bypass surgery in 1967. Dr. Bonatti looks forward to doing more robot-assisted coronary artery bypass surgeries at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus and at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (scheduled to open in 2013).