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Saint Thomas Heart

Robotic Valve Surgery


Cardiac surgeons at Saint Thomas Heart use the most advanced robotic surgical system available today - the daVinci® Xi Surgical System. The value of this advanced technology is twofold: improved surgical performance and much less invasiveness to the patient, compared with traditional open surgery. Both of these factors lead to better outcomes. For example, if a patient has robotic chest surgery instead of open chest surgery, he or she may not need a chest tube for as long. A faster recovery also means staying in the hospital for a shorter amount of time.
This state-of-the-art technology uses advanced robotic, computer and optical technologies, including a 3D high definition vision system.

Use of the daVinci® Xi Surgical System means each surgery performed with these tools is minimally invasive as compared with traditional “open surgery.” The advantages to the patient of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Much smaller incisions
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Decreased need for narcotic pain medicine
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • An overall faster recovery

How does it work?

Using two small cameras, the system creates a three-dimensional, high-definition view of the operative field. Surgeons work at a kiosk with controls that connect to very small surgical instruments. The kiosk's controls use Intuitive® motion technology to mimic natural hand and wrist movements, allowing surgeons the same precision they practice in traditional open surgeries.

The daVinci® Xi Surgical System enables efficient access throughout the abdomen and chest and expands on previous technology to include the following:

  • Wristed instruments
  • 3D-HD magnification so the surgeon has a close-up view of the operating area
  • Intuitive motion
  • Ergonomic design

The daVinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist, allowing the surgeon to make small, precise movements inside the body with better stability.

“Being able to provide our physicians with the best resources to get the best outcomes for our patients is always our goal at Saint Thomas Health, and that’s what the daVinci® Xi Surgical System does,” said Carrie Teaford, Chief Operating Officer at Saint Thomas Midtown & West Hospitals.

"The new daVinci® Xi Surgical System offers many advantages to patients and surgeons of different specialties,” said Dr. Michael Stany, Gynecologic Oncologist at Saint Thomas Health. “Many cases can be done with fewer incisions, and operative time can be reduced. This technology allows more advanced surgical procedures to be performed.”

Key Features of the daVinci® Xi Surgical System

  • A new overhead instrument arm architecture designed to facilitate anatomical access from virtually any position.
  • A new endoscope digital architecture that creates a simpler, more compact design with improved vision definition and clarity.
  • An ability to attach the endoscope to any arm, providing flexibility for visualizing the surgical site.
  • Smaller, thinner arms with newly designed joints that offer a greater range of motion than ever before.
  • Longer instrument shafts designed to give surgeons greater operative reach.