Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a robot-assisted cardiac procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Damage to neighboring organs or structures in the chest
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Local anesthesia with sedation—just the area that is being operated on is numbed, given as an injection
Description of the Procedure
The doctor will cut several keyhole openings in the spaces between the ribs. Next, the doctor will pass a small camera through one of the incisions. This small camera is called an endoscope. It will light, magnify, and project an image of the organs onto a monitor. The endoscope will be attached to one of the robotic arms. The other arms will hold instruments for grasping, cutting, dissecting, and suturing. These may include:
While sitting at a console near the operating table, the doctor will look through lenses. He will see magnified 3D images of the inside of the chest. Another doctor will stay by the operating table and adjust the camera and instruments. The console will have joystick hand controls and foot pedals. Using these, the doctor will guide the robotic arms and instruments. After the instruments are removed, incisions will be closed with sutures or staples.
Immediately After Procedure
After the procedure, you will be:
Moved to the intensive care unit (ICU)
Encouraged to sit up and move around soon after surgery
How Long Will It Take?
Usually 1-4 hours (depending on the procedure)
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have pain and soreness during recovery. Ask your doctor about pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
This procedure is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is dependent on the procedure you had done. Your doctor may need to keep you longer if you have any problems.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Follow your doctor's guidelines on taking medicine. You may need to take antibiotics.
Do deep breathing and coughing exercises.
Follow a special diet.
Wash the incisions with mild soap and water.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
Limit certain activities (eg, driving, strenuous activity).
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.