Mayo Clinic heart surgeons work with an experienced surgical team to perform minimally invasive heart surgery, including robot-assisted heart surgery and thoracoscopic heart surgery. in both types of procedures, surgeons reach your heart through small incisions between your ribs of your chest.
- Robot-assisted heart surgery. In this procedure, your surgeon sits at a remote console and views your heart in a magnified high-definition three-dimensional view on a video monitor. From the remote console, your surgeon's hand movements are translated precisely to the robotic arms at the operating table, which move similarly to the human wrist. A second surgeon and surgical team assists at the operating table, changing surgical instruments attached to the robotic arms.
- Thoracoscopic surgery. In thoracoscopic surgery (sometimes referred to as a mini-thoracotomy), your surgeon inserts a long thin tube (thoracoscope) containing a tiny high-definition video camera into a small incision in your chest. Your surgeon repairs your heart using long instruments inserted through small incisions between your ribs.