"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


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Transcripts: 571.1 and 571.2

Week: 571.1 Guest: Dr. Ralph Damiano Topic: Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: The future of coronary surgery...up next..

SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort, call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Penn State Hershey Medical Center is testing a coronary surgery system which would allow surgeons to do a bypass without making major incisions...using robotic arms, computers and video... through small holes in the chest. Dr. Ralph Damiano is chief of cardiothoracic surgery...

DAMIANO: Through one hole would be placed a camera, which would be controlled by a robotic arm, which would be your eyes. Through the other two holes would be the two other robotic arms, which would hold surgical instruments...and they would be the surgeon's hands

NEMA: The system allows for incredible precision, but...

DAMIANO: The robot is only as good as the surgeon who's operating it.

NEMA: Dr. Damiano says not cutting the breastbone to perform coronary surgery would mean less pain and discomfort, a shorter hospital stay and lower costs...

DAMIANO: Several years down the line...it could be that you'll be going home the next morning after heart surgery.

NEMA: It'll be at least a year before the first endoscopic bypass happens...it first goes through FDA review. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Transcripts:

Week: 571.2 Guest: Dr. Ralph Damiano Topic: Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: The futuristic operating room....coming up...

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma- the National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Four institutions are testing out a new robotic system to aid surgeons in performing cardiac procedures less invasively, remotely...through pencil-thin openings instead of incisions...and a scope, or camera inserted into the body. Dr. Ralph Damiano is using the system on cadavers and models at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and says the lack of physical contact is the most difficult aspect...

DAMIANO: You aren't in direct contact with the patient any longer. And, as a surgeon, we're very used to manipulating instruments themselves, but also we use a lot of tactile sensation to guide us.

NEMA: Dr. Damiano says the first robotic surgery unit used on people will have some basic sense of touch... another drawback is that the camera's image is pretty much two dimensional....

DAMIANO: And there's some recent advances in the three dimensional optics that will probably overcome that within the next two or three years.

NEMA: ...and he says the potential for the procedure is immense...

DAMIANO: I think they tremendously enhance surgical ability. And as this technology is further developed, it's going to have a larger and larger impact on many other areas of surgery.

NEMA: It will be at least a year before the robotic coronary bypass is done on people... after review by the FDA. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

 

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