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Keywords:

  • robots;
  • lasers;
  • cardiac tissue ablation;
  • atrial fibrillation

Abstract

Background

The future of medicine is tied-up in robotics and lasers. We've heard the hype for years, but only in the last 10 years has it actually started to come to fruition that robotic systems are beginning to play a role in surgery.

Methods

Multiple groups have reported over the past 10 years on increasingly complex cardiac surgical procedures being performed with the aid of robotic systems. With an increasing percentage of atrial fibrillation and with insight that atrial fibrillation results in poor long-term survival, attempts have been made to create a surgical cure.

Results

Much work has been done in the past several years to develop a less-invasive surgical option than the standard cut-and-sew Maze to achieve pulmonary vein ablation. Laser is a unique energy source for tissue ablation because it is a form of light.

Conclusion

While traditional energy sources focus on applying heat-based elements to the tissue's surface allowing temperature to propagate across the thickness of the tissue laser is an innovative, tissue-specific energy for creating tissue ablation. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.