Robotic mitral valve surgery: current limitations and future directions
Use of the surgical robot facilitates less invasive mitral valve surgery. Although multiple single center studies confirmed excellent results with robotically-assisted mitral valve surgery, both real and perceived limitations have slowed adoption of this technology. Some still question the safety and efficacy of robotically-assisted mitral valve surgery. However, present data suggests that robotic operations can be performed by specialized surgeons in appropriately selected patients without compromising results. That said, the robot does introduce additional procedural complexity related to management of cardiopulmonary bypass and myocardial protection. A direct approach to these challenges combined with careful patient selection enables the surgeon to obtain excellent results with robotically-assisted mitral valve surgery.