Modern Medicine: Less Invasive Heart Surgery - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Less Invasive Heart Surgery

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Panama City, Fla. -

Late last year, a game-changing procedure for open heart surgery was introduced at Bay Medical-Sacred Heart.

The surgery uses robotic technology without opening up the patient's chest.   We were first introduced to this technology at a news conference last December. 

Dr. Lynn Seto explains, "What this means for the patient is that they have much less pain after the operation, less risk of requiring a blood transfusion, they go home quicker, and most importantly they are able to get back to their life quicker."

Now, for the first time, we talk to a patient who's gone through robotic heart surgery.

"According to the doctor, if I continued on the way I was, I would have just fallen over," says patient Gary Dabbs.  Dabbs was diagnosed with a pro-lapsed microvalve that required heart surgery.  Dr. Seto used robotic technology to repair the valve.

The robotic procedure is much less invasive than traditional open heart surgery.  Instead of a large incision opening up the chest, Dr. Seto makes three to four small incisions and then uses the robot to make the repair.

Dr. Seto says the procedure can cut down on the hospital stay by about one or two days and makes recovery after leaving the hospital a lot easier as well.

Dabbs says two weeks after leaving the hospital, he was able to drive. 

Bay Medical-Sacred Heart is one of the few facilities to offer this procedure in the southeast.