Current status and future directions in computer-enhanced video- and robotic-assisted coronary bypass surgery

Walter D Boyd, Kojiro Kodera, Kenneth D. Stahl, Reiza Rayman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Since 1997, both the Cleveland Clinic and London Health Sciences Centre groups have embraced robotic assistance and more recently demonstrated the efficacy of this technology in totally closed-chest, beating heart myocardial revascularization. This endeavor involved an orderly progression and the learning of new surgical skill sets. We review the evolution of robot-enhanced coronary surgery and forecast the future of endoscopic and computer-enhanced, robotic-enabling technology for coronary revascularization. This report describes a computer-assisted totally closed-chest coronary bypass operation, and preliminary results are discussed. The internal thoracic artery (ITA) was harvested through three 5-mm access ports and prepared and controlled endoscopically. A prototype sternal elevator was used to increase intrathoracic working space. A 10-mm endoscopic stabilizer was placed through the second intercostal space, and the left anterior descending coronary artery was controlled with silastic snares. Telerobotic anastomoses were completed end-to-side using custom-made, double-armed 8-0 polytetrafluroethylene sutures. To date, 84 patients have undergone successful myocardial revascularization with robotic assistance with a 0% surgical mortality rate. ITA harvest, anastomotic, and operating times for the entire group have been longer than for conventional surgery at 61.3 ± 17.9 minutes, 28.5 ± 28.2 minutes, and 368 ± 129 minutes, respectively. Bleeding, ventilatory times, arrhythmias, hospital lengths of stay, and return to normal activity have been reduced. Recently, we have developed a new robotic revascularization strategy called Atraumatic Coronary Artery Bypass that is a promising mid-term step on the pathway to totally endoscopic, beating-heart coronary artery bypass. We conclude that computer-enhanced robotic techniques are safe, and further clinical studies are required to define the full potential of this evolving technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Robotics
  • Telesurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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