Robotic-Assisted Heart Surgery:
Intracardiac Tumor

(Left Atrial Myxoma)

Subject: An otherwise healthy, 68-year-old woman presented with a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Diagnosis: Echocardiogram detected a mass in the left atrium, suspected to be a myxoma. This type of benign tumor obstructs blood flow through the heart chambers and increases risk of stroke. Surgery is generally recommended to remove the myxoma.

Treatment: Cardiothoracic surgeons David Duke, MD, and Paul Koh, MD, performed a robotic-assisted cardiac tumor excision using the da Vinci™ Si Surgical System at Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute. The minimally invasive procedure allowed them to forgo sternotomy in favor of small incisions between the ribs that provide access to the thoracic cavity. The surgeon’s hands control the movement and placement of the robotic instruments through the small incisions. The surgeons removed the approximately 2 cm tumor in about the same amount of time on the heart-lung machine as traditional open surgery.

Outcome: The surgery occurred without complication on a Thursday. The patient was sitting up, reading the newspaper Friday, and discharged Monday. Full recovery and return to work are expected to occur within two to four weeks, as opposed to the eight to 12 weeks with traditional open surgery via sternotomy.