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Robotic Cardiac Surgery Program Launches for Valvular Repair

February 02, 2023

Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute recently expanded its treatment options for cardiac surgical care to include innovative robotic-assisted cardiac surgery. Fewer than 20 programs in the nation utilize this approach to treat complex valve and structural heart disease.


Robotic-assisted heart surgery combines novel technology with a cohesive, rigorously trained surgical team. Unlike sternotomy or other minimally invasive techniques, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery is performed using totally endoscopic techniques. Expert cardiothoracic surgeons access the heart through small, finger-size ports, utilizing precision instrumentation and a 3D camera to repair the heart’s valves in the most minimally invasive manner possible.

Michael N. Hanna, MD
Michael N. Hanna, MD

“This is the ultimate minimally invasive approach to cardiac surgery without compromising quality,” says Michael Hanna, MD, a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon with Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Hanna is formally trained in robotic cardiac surgery and received the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Foundation’s Graham fellowship grant in robotic thoracic surgery.

“The ensuing valvular repair is the same as sternotomy,” he says. “It's how you approach it that differs.”

Using robotic assistance also results in improved patient outcomes with fewer blood transfusions and less infection and morbidity. “We see fewer post-operative complications and a more accelerated progression of recovery,” says Dr. Hanna. “Orlando Health is recognized as a national leader in robotic surgery for several specialties, and now cardiac surgery patients can benefit from the same.”

Introduced at Orlando Health in 2022, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery has experienced high demand. While many centers currently utilize this technology solely for mitral valve repair, Dr. Hanna has incorporated robotic assist for several procedures: mitral valve repair and replacements, closure of atrial septal defects and MAZE ablations done concurrently with mitral valve repair.

“As a comprehensive center for valvular disease, one of our strongest assets is our multidisciplinary team approach for all structural heart patients,” says Dr. Hanna. “Patients are evaluated by both cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to determine the best approach for them — sternotomy, minimally invasive surgery or transcatheter options.

“Robotic cardiac surgery is another advanced protocol we now offer at Orlando Health.”

Orlando Health has long been a regional leader in cardiovascular innovation with experts specializing in more than 40 heart and vascular areas. In the most recent comprehensive ratings by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Orlando Health again received the highest rating for aortic valve replacement surgery and coronary artery bypass surgery.

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