Thu. Sep 28th, 2023
    Robotic Heart Surgery Offers Quicker Recovery and Fewer Complications

    Rick May, a patient at Independence Health System, credits his surgeon, Dr. Hiroyuki Tsukui, with changing his life after he had a heart attack. May had a blockage in his heart and was offered the choice of open heart surgery or robotic heart surgery. He chose the robotic option because it would not require splitting him open. May’s surgery was delayed due to the hospital’s robotic room not being ready, but once it was, the surgery went smoothly with no pain. May was released from the hospital in just three days and was able to drive his pickup truck within 15 days. His recovery progressed quickly, reaching a stage comparable to that of an open heart surgery patient in eight months within just eight weeks.

    Independence Health System recently held a heart care event at Westmoreland Mall to showcase the care available to the local community. Dr. James Adisey, the medical director for Independence Health’s Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, hopes that the event will inspire students to pursue careers in medicine and inform attendees about the world-class care available at the institute.

    Dr. Tsukui explained that the main difference between traditional and robotic heart surgeries is the access to the heart. Traditional surgery involves a large incision and breaking of the patient’s bones, while robotic surgery is performed through small incisions on the side of the patient’s chest. To be a candidate for robotic surgery, the patient must be physically able to wait for at least an hour. Since May’s surgery, Tsukui has performed about 10 other robotic heart surgeries and believes the procedure will become more common due to its quicker recovery time and fewer complications.

    Independence Health’s Westmoreland Hospital has received recognition for its cardiac surgery and cardiac care. It is one of 12 hospitals in Pennsylvania to be listed among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care by Healthgrades.

    Robotic heart surgery offers significant benefits to patients, including faster recovery and fewer complications. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that this procedure will become even more common in the future.

    – Megan Swift, Tribune-Review staff writer