November 9 2007 - Patient Receive Bypass Without Opening Chest

For Immediate Release             
November 9, 2007

Contact: John Moore
  Media Relations
  (903) 531-4542


PATIENT AT MOTHER FRANCES RECEIVES HEART BYPASS WITHOUT OPENING CHEST

Procedure Done Robotically Through Four Small Holes Between Ribs

Patient Released From Hospital After 1 ½ Days

TYLER, TX - 62-year-old Canton resident Luther Roden, a patient at Mother Frances Hospital, is the first in east Texas to benefit from a heart bypass procedure done totally endoscopically using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.  Mr. Roden was released from the hospital just 1½ days after the procedure.

Heart surgeons at Mother Frances have used the system since February 2004, but this is the first bypass procedure done without any extensive incisions.  Officials with the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute say the new approach can reduce a patient's hospital stay to as few as two days and pain is minimal compared to traditional bypass procedures, which include opening the chest cavity.

"The Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute has led the way in cardiac care since Mother Frances Hospital was the first in east Texas to offer heart bypass surgery in 1983," said Michael J. Vintges, vice president, cardiac services and the Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology, Trinity Mother Frances Health System.  "The Health System's commitment to the most advanced cardiac care is evident in this latest procedure we're now offering to our heart patients."

William F. Turner, Jr., MD, a Tyler cardiovascular surgeon with Turner Cardiovascular Associates, is the only heart surgeon in Texas currently offering a totally endoscopic robotic bypass procedure.  He was the first to use da Vinci at Mother Frances for a cardiac procedure in 2004 and since then, has performed 130 robotic-assisted procedures.  He performed the latest procedure on November 7.  Dr. Turner says the totally endoscopic technique is yet another positive application of the advanced technology of the da Vinci system.

"The approach of this procedure is similar to the way in which gall bladder surgery has been done for the last several years.  It is a great advancement in cardiac care," said Dr. Turner.  "I have performed 130 robotic-assisted bypasses at Mother Frances, but this new technique eliminates the need to open a 2-3 inch area between the ribs to allow an area to hand-sew the bypass from outside the body.  That incision is no longer needed since the harvesting of a section of the mammary vessel from the inside of the chest wall as well as the bypass are now all done internally with the assistance of the robotic system."

"The two most invasive aspects of heart surgery are the heart lung machine and sternotomy (opening the chest cavity through the sternum)," said Dr. Turner.  "With robotic surgery, we have eliminated both.  Now, we have also eliminated the need for any significant incision.  This is a great step forward in patient care in reducing pain and shortening recovery time.  The patients are able to resume normal activity in 10 to 14 days, instead of six to eight weeks."

The da Vinci System cannot make decisions or movements on its own, explains Dr. Turner.  "The surgeon makes all movements.  But da Vinci makes the surgeon's movements more precise, giving more range of motion and providing enhanced 3-D visualization of the operating field.  It also improves dexterity."

The da Vinci robotic surgical system has applications for many types of surgery including cardiac, urologic and general surgery procedures. For more information on cardiac services available through the Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute, visit www.tmfhs.org.

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