“What Are The Advantages Of Robotic Mitral Heart Valve Repair?” By Dr. Tom Mihaljevic
At the recent Society of Thoracic Surgeons convention, I was fortunate to meet several leading heart valve surgeons. One of those surgeons was Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic from The Cleveland Clinic. Considering that Dr. Mihaljevic’s specialty is minimally invasive heart valve surgery, I was intrigued to hear his clinical response to the question, “What are the advantages of robotic mitral valve repair?”
To help those patients and caregivers that are hearing impaired, I have provided a video transcript of Dr. Mihaljevic’s interview below.
Adam: Hi, everybody. It’s Adam and we’re here again at STS in San Diego and answering your questions that you put up at HeartValveBlog.com. We have a question for Dr. Tom Mihaljevic. As you may know, Dr. Tom Mihaljevic is at the Cleveland Clinic and the question relates to one of his specialties which is robotic mitral valve repair surgery. The question is, “Adam, can you tell me from a surgeon’s perspective what are the advantages of a robotic mitral valve surgery?” Answer the question, will you please, Dr. Mihaljevic.
Dr. Mihaljevic: Yes. Well, the advantages here are in a lesser invasiveness. That is the least invasive way to repair the mitral valve and the true benefit for a patient is not only the size of an incision but also the quality of the repair which is comparable to the quality of the repair that we have traditionally do for the large incisions and the big advantage is the quickness in recovery. A patient stay in the hospital for about three to four days and, even more importantly, they can return to their regular activities in their daily lives very quickly and within two to three weeks, they can be back to work full time.
Adam: Great. And a follow-up question…. In terms of robotic surgery, some people consider it to be one of the newer approaches to heart valve surgery. Can you share about maybe your experience, how many you’ve done, what the results have been and just kind of share about your experience.
Dr. Mihaljevic: Well, we at the Cleveland Clinic have the largest program in robotic mitral valve repair and totally have done well over 750 or 800 cases, mitral valve repairs for severe mitral regurgitation. Our repair rate exceeds 99 per cent and we have not had a single death in entire series.
Cleveland Clinic Robotic Mitral Valve Repair Surgical Results (2006-2009)
Adam: That’s fantastic. So, there you have it. That’s Dr. Tom. Mihaljevic. You can learn more about him at the Heart Valve Surgeon Finder. Tom, thanks so much for being here and answering our questions.
Dr. Mihaljevic: Absolutely.
Adam: Thanks so much.
Dr. Mihaljevic: Thank you.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.