Objective: Robotic heart surgery offers the advantage of high precision, intra-thoracic and mediastinal exploration in cardiac surgery. It also offers multiple benefits in the form of improved quality of life, reduced blood loss and quicker recovery postoperatively. We evaluated the combination of human cadaver model feasibility with a novel robotic posterior mediastinal approach. The program was designed for the use of radiofrequency (RF) ablation therapy as surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) prior to attempting it in patients.
Methods: The human cadaver model was placed in the left lateral decubitus position. We completed from the right chest access a robotic posterior mediastinum approach to the left atrium of the heart and pulmonary veins. We performed RF ablation completing a modified COX Maze IV procedure with specially designed equipment form Atricure.
Results: We report here the first attempt from a human cadaver model using the right chest robotic approach. We performed a robotic posterior mediastinum dissection reaching the left atrium of the heart and pulmonary veins to complete a modified COX MAZE IV for the treatment of AF. Positive features of this model-involved acceptance, anatomical familiarity, low cost, completely mirrored cardiac dimensions to the adult patient. Negative features included no physiological or hemodynamic response, no live tissue feel and unresponsiveness from an anatomical and physiological level.
Conclusion: We found the Human cadaveric model was a significant factor in developing our novel technique with a robotic approach for the treatment of AF using RF ablation.
This model and technique are helpful and beneficial in traversing the procedure’s learning curve in a quick and steep manner. The Human cadaver offers a reproducible anatomy model to the development of new cardiac surgery techniques.