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Benefits of Robotic Heart Surgery: February 1, 2011

With metal arms and tiny fingers, this robot is not just another machine; it’s providing some human healing. “Tremendously. I mean, one patient said that he felt like he didn’t even have any surgery,” says Dr. Paul DiGiorgi, a crdiothoracic surgeon on the Lee Memorial Health System medical staff.

Thanks to the da Vinci surgical robot, patients and surgeons are able to handle various heart problems in new ways. “Once you get into robotic surgery now we’re able to do cases not just with small incisions but without using any rib spreader.”

This can mean a quicker recovery for patients. “When you don’t use a rip spreader on a case, you’re not impinging the nerves between the ribs and the post-operative pain goes down dramatically,” adds Dr. DiGiorgi.

Since the da Vinci requires smaller incisions, the body structure is not impacted as severely as traditional heart procedures. “It’s not just the length of the incision, it’s the fact that we don’t have certain metal instruments inserted into the body,” explains Dr. DiGiorgi. “If we’re doing bypass surgery with the robot, the incision is typically on the left side of the chest. If we’re doing valve surgery with the robot, the incision is on the right side of the chest.”

If you would like to learn more about robotic surgery, Dr. DiGiorgi is hosting a free seminar at the Hyatt Place at Coconut Point mall in Estero this Thursday at 5. This event is free but reservations are required. Call 454-8762 to find out more.