Cardiopulmonary bypass and the median sternotomy incision have revolutionised cardiac surgery, helping coronary artery bypass to become a routine procedure. Cardiopulmonary bypass was originally developed to allow open-heart surgery, but was adopted for coronary surgery because it provided a still operating field. However, the cost of good surgical access has been a large scar, with slow recovery and occasional serious wound complications.
Adaptation of robotic technology from production engineering provides a new way of performing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) without large incisions, and often without cardiopulmonary bypass. Although the first endoscopic robotic cases were reported several years ago, widespread adoption of the new technique is still some way off. We review the progress of robotic CABG to date, and discuss current research fields.
For UK healthcare professionals only