Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Current Graduate Students: Adam Rankin & Jonathan McLeod

Minimally invasive cardiac procedures are performed by minimizing the size of a few incision through the body required to access the heart. This can potentially reduce complications such as infection, bleeding and trama that arising from surgical interventions while decreasing hospital stay and recovery time. However, minimizing invasiveness associated with cardiac procedures has led to limited visual access of the target tissues. To deal with this issues alternative methods of visualization must be used by the surgeon. If direct vision of the targets is possible, tiny cameras called endoscopes are used through incissions in the skin. In the case of a target without direct vision, such as inside the beating heart, medical imaging is employed to visualize intracardiac targets. These methods can be used in a robotic procedure to help increase the surgeons ability to manipulate the tools in an confined area.

Most cardiac procedures currently require the arrest of the heart and use of a cardiopulmonary bypass, causes a higher risk of patient morbidity. To further reduce the risk of invasiveness, techniques have been developed to perform interventions on the beating-heart.

Our Contribution

To address vision limitations, we have developed a visualization environment that integrates interventional ultrasound imaging with pre-operative anatomical models and virtual representations of the surgical instruments tracked in real time.

In our laboratory, we are interested in developing imaging techniques within an integrated solution that can allow the surgeon to safely access cardiac chambers in the beating heart.

What tools or techniques can we adapt to allow the surgeon to access cardiac chambers in the beating heart?

  • The universal cardiac introducer (UCI) which is a robust interventional port-placement system
  • An augmented image visualization system that integrates real-time ultrasound imaging, virtual models of the subject’s beating heart and magnetically tracked surgical instruments
  • Accurate subject-specific dynamic models of the beating heart and surgical targets
  • 4D dynamic cardiac display to give surgeons morphologic and functional information about the beating heart
  • Ability to register multi-modal images (i.e. 3D CT + 2D US and 3D US + MRI)