Minimally invasive mitral valve repair with a shortened hospital stay and quick return to an active lifestyle is the ultimate goal for robotically assisted surgery. We evaluated our da Vinci robotically assisted mitral valve repair experience toward achieving this goal.Methods
All procedures were performed with peripheral cardiopulmonary bypass, transthoracic aortic cross-clamp, and antegrade cardioplegia. Two ports and a 4-cm intercostal incision in the right chest were used for access. All patients had a ring annuloplasty, and all but 1 had a posterior leaflet resection. The entire repair and all knot tying were performed robotically.Results
Between October 2001 and October 2002, 25 patients (18 men) underwent robotic mitral valve repair. The mean age was 56 years (range, 37 to 81 years). There were no incisional conversions, deaths, strokes, or reoperations for bleeding. Twenty-one (84%) of 25 patients were extubated in the operating room. Overall mean study times were as follows: procedure, 199.7 minutes (range, 140 to 287 minutes); cardiopulmonary bypass, 126.6 minutes (range, 89 to 186 minutes); and cross-clamp, 87.7 minutes (range, 58 to 143 minutes). Eight (32%) patients were discharged home in less than 24 hours, with an average length of stay of 2.7 days. Comparing the first 10 patients to the last 15 there was a significant reduction of times: total operating room time, 318.5 versus 275.1 minutes; cross-clamp, 97.6 versus 81.1 minutes; leaflet resection or repair, 26.2 versus 15.6 minutes; annuloplasty ring, 31.9 versus 24.8 minutes; and length of stay, from 4.2 days to 1.67 days. Five patients had postoperative atrial fibrillation. Two (8%) patients ultimately required mitral valve replacement for recurrent mitral insufficiency.Conclusions
Mitral valve repair can be successfully performed with the da Vinci robotic system. Long-term follow-up is needed to determine the durability of the repair compared with a standard sternotomy approach.