ROYAL OAK, Mich., March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctors at Beaumont Hospital, Troy have performed Michigan's first minimally invasive robotic procedure to correct atrial fibrillation, a prevalent and growing heart rhythm disorder. The new robotic maze procedure is an alternative to open-heart surgery. It's performed through tiny, keyhole incisions with fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay.
Phillip Robinson, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon, Brian Williamson, M.D. and Ilana Kutinsky, D.O., both electrophysiology cardiologists, performed the robotic-assisted maze procedure on March 2 on a 66-year-old woman from Huntington Woods.
A maze procedure is a surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation that is used to stop an irregular heartbeat and restore a normal heart rhythm. Patients are candidates for a maze procedure if their irregular heartbeat cannot be treated with medication or other nonsurgical approaches.
"This new robotic maze procedure allows us to correct an electrical irregularity in the heart without having to perform open-heart surgery," says Dr. Robinson. "We don't have to open the patient's chest, stop the heart or place the patient on a heart-lung machine. As a result, patients have fewer complications, less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery."
The robotic approach allows for smaller incisions and greater precision.
With the robotic maze procedure, the surgeon makes five tiny incisions the size of a dime in the patient's chest, inserting a small endoscopic robotic camera to view the outer surface of the heart. The surgeon sits at a console viewing 3-D images from the robotic camera, while directing robotic arms with their attached surgical instruments. A device is then passed through the tiny incisions to ablate or destroy areas of heart tissue, creating a scar that will block the conduction of abnormal electrical impulses and create a pathway, or maze, for normal electrical