"You're getting the same operation but it's done in a more precise manor," says Dr. Lynn Seto, who is referring to the mitral valve repair procedure…one that is traditionally performed by making one large incision in the chest.
But just last week Dr. Lynn Seto performed two of those procedures with three smaller incisions. "The largest of which is the size of my thumb," says Dr. Seto.
She then used robotic technology to repair the heart valve. "It gives you incredible magnification," says Dr. Seto. "You can see in three-dimension, so it's not like you're seeing a flat picture."
Anything Dr. Seto does with her hand, she can do with the robot.
This is still an open heart procedure but its recovery is much different from traditional open heart surgery.
"The patient is that they have much less pain after the operation, less risk of requiring a blood transfusion," explains Dr. Seto. "They go home quicker and most importantly they are able to get back to their life quicker."
The traditional mitral valve surgery can leave a patient in the hospital for one to two weeks, but this less invasive procedure Dr. Seto says can knock off one to two days of a patient's hospital stay.
Bay Medical Sacred Heart is one of the few facilities to offer this procedure in the Southeast. The closest one is Birmingham Alabama.