Robotically Assisted Beating Heart Totally Endoscopic Coronary Artery Bypass (TECAB). Is There a Future?

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Since the introduction of beating heart totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB), approximately 400 patients have undergone the procedure worldwide. Despite satisfactory results and reduced morbidity, the procedure has not gained wide acceptance. This report describes the authors’ experience of beating heart TECAB with robotic assistance and the potential adoption of this technique for the future.


Between July 2004 and December 2005, 93 patients underwent successful for beating heart TECAB (47 males and 46 females). Mean age was 67.4 + 12.3 years. Fifteen (13.8%) were excluded or converted intraoperatively to thoracotomy for completion of procedure. The procedure was performed through port incisions for the robotic arms and the endostabilizer. Single or bilateral internal thoracic arteries were used as conduits. Anastomoses were done using surgical U-clips. Eighteen (19.4%) patients underwent planned hybrid revascularization. Eighty-four (90.3%) patients underwent computed tomography or conventional angiography.


Details of 93 completed revascularization cases are summarized in the tables. No in-hospital mortality, myocardial infarction, or CVA was noted. Mean operative time was 272.6 + 128.9 minutes (median, 270 minutes). Mean anastomotic time was 13.8 + 3.7 minutes. Mean length of hospital stay was 3.4 + 2.0 days (median, 3 days). At the time of study, 122 of 122 (100%) grafts were found to be patent.


Single- and multivessel beating heart TECAB with or without hybrid revascularization may offer a less invasive approach in a selected group of patients.

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