Use of the voice-controlled and computer-assisted surgical system zeus for endoscopic coronary artery bypass grafting

H. Reichenspurner, R. J. Damiano, M. Mack, D. H. Boehm, H. Gulbins, C. Detter, B. Meiser, R. Ellgass, B. Reichart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


Objective: With the aim of performing a completely endoscopic coronary bypass anastomosis, we have undertaken an experimental and clinical study using robotic instrumentation and voice-controlled camera guidance. Methods: The ZEUS Robotic Surgical System (Computer Motion Inc, Goleta, Calif) consists of three interactive robotic arms and a control unit, allowing the surgeon to move the instrument arms in a scaled down mode. The third arm (AESOP, Computer Motion) positions the endoscope via voice control. Phase I: In a phantom model, vascular grafts were anastomosed to the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) of 50 pig hearts with either 2- or 3- dimensional visualization. Phase II: In 6 dogs (FBI 20-25 kg) the left internal thoracic artery (LITA) was harvested endoscopically. Then the animals were placed on an endovascular cardiopulmonary bypass system (Port- Access, Heartport, Inc, Redwood City, Calif). Anastomosis of the LITA to the LAD was performed endoscopically with the telemetric ZEUS instruments. Flow rates through the LITA were measured by Doppler analysis. Phase III: Two patients were operated on with the ZEUS system. After endoscopic harvesting of the LITA and cardiopulmonary bypass with the Port-Access system, the bypass graft (LITA-LAD) was anastomosed endoscopically with the ZEUS system through three thoracic ports. Results: In the dry laboratory, the time range required for the robotically assisted coronary anastomosis was 35 to 60 minutes with 2-dimensional visualization and 16 to 32 minutes with 3- dimensional visualization. In the animal experiments, the median time for endoscopic harvesting of the LITA was 86 minutes (range 56-120 minutes) and for the anastomosis, 42 minutes (range 35105 minutes); flow rates through the LITA ranged between 22 and 45 mL/min. In the clinical cases, preparation times for the LITA were 83 and 110 minutes, respectively, and anastomosis times, 42 and 40 minutes, respectively. Doppler flow rates measured 125 and 85 mL/min, respectively. Both patients had an uneventful follow-up angiogram and postoperative course. Conclusions: With sophisticated robotic technology, a completely endoscopic anastomosis of the LITA to the LAD is possible, allowing technically precise operations within acceptable time limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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