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Study finds that minimally invasive robotic bypass surgery provides health and economic benefits
Date:4/26/2008

The researchers studied 100 consecutive patients who had minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery using a robot at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The technique requires no incisions except for a few small holes to insert instruments. These cases were compared to a matched group of 100 patients who had the traditional open bypass surgery with a sternotomy, a surgical incision through the sternum.

The average length of the hospital stay for the patients with the minimally invasive surgery was about four days compared to seven days for the traditional bypass operation; however the difference was even greater among patients considered to be at high risk. In that group, the average stay was five days with robotic surgery compared to 12 days with the traditional technique.

The complication rate for those who had the robotic bypass was also much lower, with 88 percent of patients free of complications after having the minimally invasive surgery compared to 66 percent of those with the open operation.

The patients in the study were followed up one year after their surgery. Using a CT angiography scan, the researchers found that those who had the robotic bypass were much less likely to have narrowing or clots in the bypass graft than those with the traditional bypass surgery from six months to a year after the operation.

We saw a long term benefit to patients after their bypass in terms of the patency, or openness, of the bypass graft, according to Bartley Griffith, M.D., head of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Griffith, also a co-author of the study, says the grafted vessels of more than 99 percent of the patients who had robotically-assisted bypass surgery were still open and functioning well compared to about 80 percent of those who had the open operation.

The reason for the difference is that for pa
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Contact: Ellen Beth Levitt
eblevitt@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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