Robotic Heart Surgery

Robotic heart and lung surgery at Scripps Health

Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Heart and Lung Program brings together the expertise of our cardiothoracic surgery specialists with the most innovative robotic surgical system available.

Scripps has the most comprehensive robotic heart surgery program in San Diego, and Scripps cardiothoracic surgeon, James Hemp, MD, has performed more heart and lung robotic surgeries than any other surgeon in the San Diego region.

Our specialized cardiac surgical team offers the following robotic-assisted procedures for diseases and conditions affecting the heart and lungs:

  • Atrial fibrillation surgery
    Robotic-assisted surgery can be performed to treat irregular or erratic heartbeat, a condition known as atrial fibrillation.
  • Atrial septal defect repair
    An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a congenital defect that is a hole between the upper two chambers of the heart. Scripps surgeons perform robotic-assisted ASD repair through small incisions instead of open heart surgery .
  • Heart tumor removal
    Though rare, cardiac tumors can occur in any region of the heart. These tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous), but even benign tumors can be life-threatening because of their location in such a vital part of the body. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery can be an option to remove cardiac tumors.
  • Coronary revascularization
    Coronary revascularization (also known as cardiac revascularization or coronary artery bypass grafting [CABG]) reroutes blood flow around blockages of the coronary arteries. Although it is the most commonly performed open-heart surgery in the United States, Scripps cardiothoracic surgeons perform robotic-assisted coronary revascularization as minimally invasive surgery.
  • Lobectomy and lung tumor removal
    Currently the most common surgical treatment for lung cancer, lobectomy removes the cancerous part of the lung, along with lymph nodes from other areas of the chest that may be affected. Scripps cardiothoracic surgeons perform robotic-assisted lobectomy as a minimally invasive procedure.
  • Mediastinal tumor removal
    Mediastinal tumor surgery removes tumors that are located in the mediastinum, which is the area of the chest cavity that separates the lungs. Robotic surgery provides improved visibility of the surgical area and uses smaller, less invasive incisions to access the mediastinal tissues.
  • Mitral valve repair
    Robotic heart valve surgery repairs or replaces the valve from the left upper chamber of the heart (atria) to the left lower chamber of the heart (ventricle) to restore blood flow.
  • Thymus gland removal
    The thymus gland is part of the immune system and is located in the chest – below the trachea and just above the heart. Robotic-assisted thymectomy removes the thymus gland when it has tumors or as a treatment option for myasthenia gravis.

Potential benefits and risks of robotic surgery

Minimally invasive robotic heart surgery could potentially result in a faster recovery, less blood loss, reduced pain and a shorter hospital stay. However, as with any major surgery, there is a recovery period of several days or more, as well as risks of bleeding, infection, and other complications. Robotic surgery may not be appropriate for all patients. Talk to your surgeon about your treatment options and the risks and benefits of each.

Scripps News