Joao Ricardo M. Sant'Anna, MD, performed the operations utilising the AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner through ports in the patient's chest as part of a minimally invasive procedure to insert a biventricular pacemaker electrode into the heart.
Dr. Sant'Anna first performed the procedure on a 27-year-old male. He then followed his success performing the same procedure on a 35-year-old male and a 71-year-old female. The procedures were performed in approximately 20 minutes without intra-operative mortality or morbidity.
Severe congestive heart failure is diagnosed in patients with hearts that have a weak pumping action which causes a buildup of fluid leading to congestion in the lungs and other body tissues. The heart tries to make up for this weakening by enlarging and by pumping faster to move more blood through the body.
When congestive heart failure develops, the two main pumping chambers of the heart do not work together. The biventricular pacemaker stimulates these two main pumping chambers of the heart to work synchronously, permitting an enlarged and weak heart to pump blood to the body more effectively.
Dr. Sant'Anna commented: "The normal technique of biventricular pacing by placing the electrode in the epimyocardium at the optimal position requires a thoracotomy. With this new minimally invasive procedure, surgeons are able to reduce the trauma related to thoracotomy by implanting the left ventricular epimyocardial electrode endoscopically. The use of the thoracoscopic approach with the AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner has also made it possible for us to reduce the procedure time by almost two hours on average."
Robert W. Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion Inc., stated: "This is a milestone for the company, as it represents an important first use of our products in the field of cardiology. We believe that robotically assisted procedures will continue to gain market share in the treatment of heart disease, and that this is an important step in opening a new and important market for our products."
More details on the use of the AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner in cardiac surgery is available in the VMW January 2002 article Computer-aided endoscopic cardiac procedure promoted live on the Internet to surgeons worldwide.