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Tampa General doctors perform robotic mitral valve repair procedure

Posted at 6:41 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 06:36:55-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A team at Tampa General Hospital and USF Health recently used innovative technology and techniques to do a first-of-its-kind procedure.

Carlos Bazan had been having some heart palpitations and was told to go to a cardiologist and get it checked out.

“I’d started having some shortness of breath issues at times, and he listened to my heart, and he said you’ve got a severely leaky mitral valve,” Bazan said.

Historically, a mitral valve repair procedure required full open-heart surgery when surgeons mechanically spread the chest.

“They open your ribs to get to your heart, and I know there’s significant recovery time with that,” Bazan said.

Tampa heart surgery Carlos Bazan.png
Carlos Bazan after his surgery

That’s where Dr. Lucian Lozonschi, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at TGH and USF, and a team came in, looking instead to a robotic mitral valve procedure.

“The robot just adds more dexterity, and you’re able to get closer to the valve and without opening and spreading the ribs, and this was amazing for him and for me that I was able to do this through only a four-centimeter incision between the ribs,” Dr. Lozonschi said.

A team at Tampa General and USF Health performed a robotic mitral valve procedure that made only tiny incisions and used no rib spreader, TGH says the least invasive ever done in the state of Florida.

“I think that’s what all us robotics surgeons do this because patients, we see them do so much better and they’re so, least invasive. They can return to activities sooner and have less pain,” Dr. Lozonschi said. “That’s important. When there’s no rib spreading, then they will have less pain.”

Doctors noted this advancement is a game-changer in mitral valve repair and gives patients a better post-op experience. Bazan said he’s really starting to get back to normal and on the road to a full recovery.

“I was able to go on an anniversary trip with my wife and be out at the beach again and walk and all kinds of things like that had been, they were becoming progressively more difficult before the surgery,” Bazan said.

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