Infographic: Robot Assisted Heart Surgery

Heart Surgery Re-imagined.

Robot-assisted heart surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery.

Open heart surgery is a lifesaving procedure.

The most common type of heart surgery.

  • Surgeons open the chest to directly access the heart
  • Large incision, roughly 6-8 inches
  • Breastbone is split

Robot-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive alternative.

Performs the exact same surgical maneuvers.

  • Surgeons access the heart using thin, robotic arms
  • Small incisions, roughly 2 inches
  • Operate between ribs and muscles

Advantage of robot-assisted heart surgery

  • Reduced trauma and pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Lower infection risk
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to activity
  • Smaller, less noticeable scars

Although complications are rare, there are risks involved with any surgery, including bleeding, stroke and wound infection.

Comparison of incision size

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • 2 inches or less
  • Traditional open heart surgery
  • 6-8 inches

Surgeons perform precise surgical movements from a remote console.

  • A high-definition camera provides an up-close view of the heart.
  • Two robotic arms translate the movements of the surgeon's hands and wrists, with precise range of motion.
  • The surgeon views the procedure through a high-definition 3D monitor.
  • A second surgeon assists from the operating table, switching tools and assuring safe movement of the robotic arms.

Produced by Mayo Clinic. Source: