March 23, 1999

Nancy Lawrence
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642

London Health Sciences Centre achieves Canadian first with robotic 3-D cardiac bypass surgery procedure

(LONDON, Ontario) For the first time in Canada, cardiovascular surgeons have performed a cardiac bypass procedure fully utilizing a robotic 3-D vision camera system. Drs. Reiza Rayman and Douglas Boyd performed the surgery March 10th at London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) University Campus.

The procedure involved Dr. Boyd using a camera scope system and a 3-D screen to sew a bypass graft on patient Donald Shier, of Brussels, Ontario. Dr. Boyd, assisted by Dr. Rayman and the surgical team, was able to perform the bypass surgery by viewing the narrowed coronary artery using a 3-D vision system, rather than looking at the artery directly. The patient did not need to be put on a cardiac bypass machine, as is done in traditional bypass surgery, and he was extubated immediately following the procedure eliminating the need to be put on a respirator while in recovery. The result is that Mr. Shier was discharged earlier and able to return home.

"This is a significant step towards total portal access for cardiac bypass patients," says Dr. Rayman, who called the procedure a scientific milestone.

Dr. Boyd estimates that between 60 and 70 per cent of patients requiring cardiac bypass surgery could benefit from this new, much-less invasive technique.

"Patients with a single lesion or those with multiple lesions where one is graftible and the others can be treated with a balloon angioplasty could benefit from this new procedure. That means the majority of cardiac bypass patients are potential candidates. We see this as a step towards totally endoscopic, bypass surgery," says Dr. Boyd.

LHSC President and CEO Tony Dagnone considers this latest milestone as yet another LHSC accomplishment in its quest to take full advantage of new technology for the benefit of improved patient care.

"The trend towards minimally-invasive surgery such as endoscopic procedures, has been emerging in healthcare over the past two years and LHSC has been a leader in developing these approaches to care. The cost savings to the healthcare system as a result of these advancements are significant and are most directly linked to patient lengths of stays post-opertively being reduced. We are proud of the entire healthcare team which made this new advance happen," says Mr. Dagnone.

LHSC has the second largest cardiac surgery program in Ontario and performs 1,707 cardiac bypass procedures each year. LHSC is one of Canada's largest teaching hospitals dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. The staff of approximately 7,000 care for more than half a million inpatient, outpatient and emergency patients annually. Spread over three million square feet of property, LHSC is located in London, Ontario and operates on three sites.