Single incision in multi-vessel cardiac bypass reduces pain, recovery time

September 15, 2010

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center perform multiple cardiac vessel bypasses through a single, small incision in the patient's side, reducing pain, recovery time and risk for infection.

"This represents a big improvement on older versions of minimally invasive bypass procedures," said Dr. Mahesh Ramchandani, cardiac surgeon at Methodist."By approaching the heart from the patient's side, rather than going in directly over the heart, we can reduce trauma to the patient's ribs and we can see the heart better, which allows us to safely perform multi-vessel bypasses in one minimally invasive procedure," Ramchandani said.

Ramchandani has performed approximately 150 multi-vessel cardiac bypasses using this new approach, a technique he teaches to surgeons in a monthly hands-on, interactive class held in the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE). He has trained more than 50 surgeons who have come to Methodist from across the world for his expertise.

Ramchandani and his team, including specialists in surgery, cardiology, stenting and advanced imaging, provide a unique multidisciplinary approach to patients with ischemic heart disease. Using Methodist's new hybrid robotic operating room, the team will soon be able to perform bypass grafting plus stenting as a single procedure, using only a few small incisions. This provides the patient with much more tailored, personalized and safer care than has previously existed for minimally-invasive treatment of blockages in the cardiac arteries.

"Patients with cancer tend to have a team approach to their care. They see an oncologist, a surgeon and a radiation therapist who coordinate their care. That's uncommon for patients with disease, but that's what we're providing at Methodist," Ramchandani said. "With this model, we offer more comprehensive care, more tailored, personalized care, and better outcomes for our patients. MICS CABG is a cornerstone of these advanced approaches that combine the best available treatments for our patients."

Ramchandani and his team have also helped advance the use of special "enabling" technologies to refine the procedure so it can be taught easily and made available for more patients across the country.

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