Features March 2008 Issue

Robotics Extend Surgeons’ Reach

Smaller incisions and greater precision combine for better patient outcomes ó and the technology soon will be even better.

In a recent morning at Cleveland Clinic, cardiac surgeon Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, repaired a patientís mitral valve and his hands never got near the patientís heart. In fact, for much of the procedure, Dr. Mihaljevicís hands were firmly at the controls of a robotic system that was able to give him pinpoint control of the tools he needed to see the heart and fix the valve. The surgery was all done through an incision less than an inch long. "The major advantages of robotics are the range of motion and precise control you have working in a very small space," Dr. Mihaljevic says. "Another advantage is that your visualization is almost perfect. You have a sophisticated camera system that gives you a three-dimensional view of the heart, which is very important for a surgeon."

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