South Florida hospital develops novel approach to coronary bypass surgery

HIALEAH, Fla. – When it came to his health, Guillermo Chea thought everything was fine until his doctor sent him for a stress test.

“And the test came out very bad,” Chea said.

The arteries to his heart were so blocked he needed bypass surgery. Dr. Steve Xydas, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Roy Williams, a thoracic surgeon with the hospital, determined Chea was a good candidate for a technique they’ve perfected called Robotic Assisted Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.

“In plain terms, it’s bypass for blockages that are not fixable with stents,” Xydas said.

“The robot has a tremendous value for operating in the chest. It was basically designed to do that,” Williams added.

This unique alternative to open heart surgery improved blood flow to the heart using surgical instruments and a camera attached to the arms of a robotic machine which is controlled by an expert surgeon.

“Once you get used to doing it, it becomes an extension of your hands, so it allows you to get into the chest without making a big incision, without spreading the ribs, without needing to have your hands in there,” Williams explained.

“With that we can treat one vessel, two vessels or three vessels in the surgery,” Xydas said.

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