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Published on August 02, 2012

Surgeon performs South's first robotic endoscopic beating heart surgery

Spartanburg Medical Center performed the South's first robotic endoscopic beating heart surgery in 2009.

Cardiovascular surgeon Steven Leyland, M.D. performed the totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) using the da Vinci surgical robot. Four robotic arms, one of which was a video camera, are inserted into the side of the patient’s chest.

Using the robot, Dr. Leyland is able to perform complex surgical maneuvers by sitting at a console and, with his own hands, guiding the robotic arms while looking at a screen that displays three-dimensional images that are greatly magnified. Robot-assisted surgery enables greater precision and range of motion than is possible with standard procedures.

Cardiothoracic surgery at Spartanburg Regional has been at the forefront of technological breakthroughs for more than 20 years.

Traditional coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) involves opening the chest cavity with a six to eight inch incision through the breastbone (sternum) to gain access to the heart. Frequently, the patient’s heart is stopped during surgery and they are put on the heart-lung machine, which takes over the functions of the heart and lungs in continuing circulation and oxygenation.

In 1991, Steven Leyland, M.D. performed the first beating heart surgery in the Carolinas. Spartanburg Regional began using robots while removing prostates and performing gynecological surgeries in 2007. Robotic surgeries are less invasive and help patients recover faster.

Spartanburg Regional’s highly skilled and experienced team of surgeons, techs and nurses have performed more than 3,000 robotic cases, which is more than any other hospital in South Carolina. The robotic surgery program at Spartanburg Regional is one of the most comprehensive in the Southeast, performing robotic procedures for urology, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, cardiac and thoracic (lung).

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