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Robotically Assisted Atrial Septal Defect Repair

Robotically Assisted Heart Surgery: Atrial Septal Defect (ASD):
New Approaches to Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Atrial septal defect
For more information about atrial septal defect (ASD):

Robotically assisted atrial septal defect surgery is a type of minimally invasive heart surgery performed on atrial septal defect (ASD) with an endoscopic, closed chest approach.

Your septum
  • The septum is the muscular wall separating the heart into the left and right sides.
  • The atrial septum is the wall separating the atria (the two upper chambers).
  • The ventricular septum is the wall separating the ventricles (the two lower chambers).
What is Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)?

An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall (septum) between the left and right atria. If there is a large hole, oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium flows back into the right atrium and gets pumped back to the lungs again. This causes more work for the heart. If the hole is very small, it is generally termed a patent foramen ovale. In some cases, a patent foramen ovale can be associated with strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, or “mini-strokes”).

Treatment of ASD

If ASD does not close on its own, heart surgery is required to close the defect. In some cases, ASD may be closed interventionally through a closure device.

Robotically-Assisted ASD Surgery: smaller incision

Robotically-assisted atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent foramen ovale (PFO) repair surgeries are performed through small incisions made in the right sight of the chest.

Robotically assisted surgery incision

Robotically assisted surgery incision

The surgeon’s hands control the movement and placement of the endoscopic instruments, which are used to retrieve a small patch of pericardial tissue.

The pericardium is the thin sac that surrounds the heart. The tissue patch is used to repair the defect between the right and left atrium for ASD or PFO defects.

What are the benefits of robotically assisted surgery?

Compared with traditional surgery, the benefits of robotically assisted surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions with minimal scarring
  • Less trauma to the patient, including less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay (usually 3 to 4 days)
  • Decreased use of pain medications
  • Less bleeding
  • Decreased risk of infection
  • Shorter recovery and quicker return to daily and professional activities: The patient can resume normal activities and work as soon as he or she feels up to it; there are no specific activity restrictions after robotically assisted surgery
Surgeons who perform robotically-assisted heart surgery

Robot assisted surgery is performed by specially trained cardiovascular surgeons. Cleveland Clinic Heart Surgeons who perform robotic assisted surgery include:

Some of these surgeons perform only specific types of robotically assisted heart surgery. We would be happy to help you find the right surgeon to treat your medical condition.

If you would like to find out whether you are a candidate for robotically assisted PFO surgery or learn more about minimally invasive heart surgery, contact us or call the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute Resource & Information Nurse at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911. We would be happy to help you.

Robotically assisted heart surgeries
Robotically assisted heart surgeries
For more information:

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Images used with permission by ©Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Reviewed: 06/13

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2014 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

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