Robotic Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure

Robotic atrial septal defect (ASD) closure refers to a surgical procedure performed using robotic-assisted technology to repair a hole in the wall (septum) between the heart’s upper chambers, known as the atria. Atrial septal defects are congenital heart defects where there is an abnormal opening between the atria, allowing blood to flow between them.

In robotic ASD closure, the surgery is conducted through small incisions in the chest, typically between the ribs, rather than through a large incision in the breastbone (sternotomy) required for traditional open-heart surgery. Robotic technology allows surgeons to perform the procedure with enhanced precision and control using robotic arms equipped with specialized instruments.

Here’s an overview of how robotic ASD closure is typically performed:

Preparation: Before the surgery, the patient undergoes thorough evaluation, including imaging tests, to assess the size and location of the atrial septal defect and overall heart health.

Anesthesia: The patient is placed under general anesthesia to ensure they are unconscious and pain-free during the procedure.

Incisions: The surgeon makes several small incisions, typically around 1 to 2 centimeters in length, between the ribs on the side of the chest.

Robotic System Setup: The surgical team sets up the robotic system, which consists of a console where the surgeon sits and controls the robotic arms, and a cart with the robotic arms and instruments.

Procedure: The surgeon sits at the console and uses hand and foot controls to manipulate the robotic arms. A high-definition, 3D camera is inserted through one of the incisions to provide a magnified view of the surgical area. The surgeon guides the robotic instruments to close the atrial septal defect, often using a patch to cover the hole and seal it.

Closure: Once the defect is repaired, the instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical glue.

Recovery: The patient is closely monitored in the recovery room and then moved to a hospital room for further observation. Recovery time is typically shorter compared to traditional open-heart surgery, and patients may be discharged within a few days.

Robotic ASD closure offers several potential advantages over traditional open-heart surgery, including smaller incisions, reduced risk of complications such as infection and bleeding, less pain, faster recovery, and shorter hospital stays. However, not all patients are suitable candidates for robotic surgery, and the decision on the approach depends on various factors, including the size and location of the defect, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s expertise with robotic technology.