Robotically Assisted Atrial Septal Defect Repair


Robotically Assisted Heart Surgery: Atrial Septal Defect (ASD):

New Approaches to Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

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”).

Procedure Details

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

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.

For more information:

Risks / Benefits

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

Additional Details

For more information about atrial septal defect (ASD):


Which Cleveland Clinic physicians perform robotically-assisted heart surgery?

Robotically-assisted surgery is performed by our specially trained cardiovascular surgeons. 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. Learn more about how to make an appointment with a cardiovascular surgeon in Cleveland Clinic's Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. If you have questions, you can also talk to one of our Heart Nurses at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911.

Robotically assisted heart surgeries

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

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2019.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy