davinci Recent advances in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) have brought about the use of robots to perform Minimally Invasive Robotic Assisted (MIRA) procedures. MIRA surgery provides a tele-operated means of performing complex surgical operations. Two commercial robotic systems, the da VinciTM system (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) and the ZEUS® system (Computer Motion, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA), have been approved for general and cardiac surgical procedures. Both systems consist of two instrument arms and one camera arm that can be introduced through port incisions (5-10 mm), enabling the surgeon to perform closed-chest cardiac procedures.

In the specific field of cardiac surgery, MIRA procedures show improvements in patient satisfaction and key outcome parameters including decreases in both intensive care unit (ICU) stays and overall hospital stays. Unfortunately, these gains have been offset by significantly increased operative times, resulting in increased overall healthcare costs. Based on East Carolinas University's experience in MIRA mitral valve repairs, patient bypass times are currently increased approximately 60% (2.6 hours with MIRA vs. 1.5 hours using conventional procedures). It is evident that specific technological advancements could significantly decrease MIRA mitral valve repair times.

jstevens
Engineering faculty and staff at NCSU and cardiac surgeons at ECU are collaborating to design platform independent tools for the use of surgeons during MIRA mitral valve repairs. The success of this research will decrease operation times and allow a wider range of patients the advantage of having MIRA procedures.