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

Modern Medicine: Robotic Heart Surgery

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Panama City, Fla. -

Robotic heart surgery is less invasive than traditional heart surgery, as doctors are able to utilize the robot to make smaller incisions without opening up the patient's chest.

Janice Ferguson was in great health as a bodybuilder but started noticing shortness of breath.  She had mitral valve prolapse, requiring heart surgery.  Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Lynn Seto used robotic technology to repair the valve.

"The incisions are smaller, and we don't have to divide the breast bone.  So instead of a long incision in the front, we make 5 little incisions on the side, and we put cannulas about the size of a pencil through the rib spaces, and we use the robotic instrument to do the operation," explains Dr. Seto. 

She says the robot has a three dimensional camera.  Dr. Seto says the procedure can cut down on the hospital stay by about one or two days, and it makes recovery after leaving the hospital a lot easier as well.

Ferguson had her surgery at the end of October and is happy to have her life back.

"I feel fabulous.  I really, really do and not too shabby for going on 71," Ferguson says with a smile.

Doctors work closely with each patient to determine if robotic surgery is the best option.