Swedish Medical Center
August 12, 2020

HCA Healthcare/HealthONE's Swedish Medical Center is the only hospital in Denver offering robotic heart surgery to correct mitral valve leakage – a risk factor for pulmonary hypertension.

Traditional surgical approaches to repair the mitral valve require a 6– to 8–inch incision that is made through the patient's sternum or breastbone and the ribs are spread to view the heart.

Alternatively, robotic valve surgery involves an endoscopic (inserted directly into the organ) closed-chest approach. Instead of cutting through the breastbone or opening the chest cavity, surgeons make several small incisions approximately 1/4”–1/2” long. The arms of the robot pass through these small incisions and the surgeon conducts the operation using a remote-controlled endoscope with two lenses. The two lenses show the surgeon's view on a magnified 3D monitor, and the surgeon's movements are mimicked by the small robotic instruments inside the patient's body. Another surgeon is stationed at the patient's bedside, and ensuring the surgery is running effectively and safely.

“This advanced minimally invasive approach is far superior to traditional methods. Patients are experiencing smaller incisions, less pain, and faster recovery times,” said Sanjay Tripathi, MD, board certified thoracic surgeon at Swedish Medical Center. “The approach is made through robotic instruments between the ribs used to work on the mitral valve. No bone is actually cut and the breastbone is left intact.”

The mitral valve is a one-way valve comprises two leaflets that conducts blood flow through the left side of the heart. When open, the mitral valve permits oxygenated blood from the lungs to fill the heart's main pumping chamber. When the mitral valve is insufficient, the mitral valve permits blood from the left ventricle to leak back towards the lungs. This situation can lead to progressive lung congestion or heart failure.

Robotic cardiac surgery at Swedish Medical Center is one of the many minimally invasive services offered as part of the comprehensive Swedish Surgical Robotics Institute. Other cardiothoracic robotic procedures offered include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), left atrial myxoma, lobectomy, maze procedure, mediastinal masses (chest tumor), and tricuspid valve repair and replacement.

To learn more or to find a cardiac surgeon at Swedish, visit SwedishHospital.com/heart.

About Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Medical Center is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for 115 years. An acute care hospital with 408 licensed beds, annually Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of approximately 2,000 dedicated employees, 300 volunteers and 1,400 physicians.

With stroke door to treatment times averaging just 20 minutes, Swedish serves as the Rocky Mountain Region's referral center for the most advanced stroke treatment, and was the state's first Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Swedish also serves as the region's neurotrauma and orthopedic trauma provider and is a level I trauma facility with a dedicated burn and reconstructive center. Over 150 facilities regularly transfer highly complex cases to Swedish.

Swedish Medical Center is proud to be a part of the HCA Healthcare's Continental Division, which includes HealthONE, named the #1 large hospital system in the United States by IBM Watson Health as part of the 15 Top Health Systems recognition process. And, as the #7 corporate philanthropist in the Denver-metro area, and the only hospital system in the top 10, HealthONE contributed more than $1.6 million in 2019 and supports over 150 organizations through cash and in-kind donations. Additional information is available at www.SwedishHospital.com.