Minimally Invasive Surgeries for the Heart

Physicians at Baptist may use minimally invasive techniques to treat coronary artery disease (CHD). CHD is the build up of fatty deposits in the lining of the walls of blood vessels that supply the heart with blood. If left untreated, the deposits may cause a narrowing of the vessel's interior that eventually may cause a blockage. When blood flow to the heart stops, a heart attack (myocardial infarction), chest pain (angina pectoris) or even death occurs.

Minimally invasive heart procedures at Baptist that may be used to treat CHD include:

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

To make sure that the heart receives an adequate blood supply, physicians may take a blood vessel from another area of the body, and graft it into the heart above and below the blocked area. This re-routes or bypasses the blood around the diseased vessel. In this procedure, physicians make a series of tiny incisions-called ports-through which they place specialized surgical equipment that allows them to see the surgical field as well as make repairs. The procedure may be done with or without a heart/lung machine, depending on the severity of disease.

Saphenous Vein Harvest

In many cases, physicians will choose a section of the saphenous vein-a vessel that runs the length of the leg-to graft around a blocked coronary artery. Physicians at Baptist can use minimally invasive technology to acquire the vein rather than making a long incision in the patient's leg to access it.

The MAZE Procedure

Patients with CHD may also suffer from an irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation). This inefficient pumping of the heart may cause blood to pool in the heart's chambers. If left untreated, blood clots may form that could lead to a stroke. Physicians at Baptist may use minimally invasive technology-in conjunction with CABG-to treat atrial fibrillation.

For certain minimally invasive heart procedures, physicians may use the da Vinci™ Surgical System. The system is robotic technology that provides the surgeon with a 3-D image of the surgical field with 10x magnification. The surgeon uses master controls to robotic surgical instruments inside the patient that convey the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements. The system scales down the movements of the surgeon's hands into what amounts to microsurgery, allowing the performance of technically demanding procedures with great precision.

Learn more about Cardiovascular Services at Baptist.

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