Robotic Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation Using Left Thoracotomy Approach in Patients with Previous Sternotomies

ASAIO J. 2015 Nov-Dec;61(6):e44-6. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000251.


Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are commonly used as either a bridge-to-transplant or a destination therapy. The traditional approach for LVAD implantation is via median sternotomy, but many candidates for this procedure have a history of failed cardiac surgeries and previous sternotomy. Redo sternotomy increases the risk of heart surgery, particularly in the setting of advanced heart failure. Robotics facilitates a less invasive approach to LVAD implantation that circumvents some of the morbidity associated with a redo sternotomy. We compared the outcomes of all patients at our institution who underwent LVAD implantation via either a traditional sternotomy or using robotic assistance. The robotic cohort showed reduced resource utilization including length of hospital stay and use of blood products. As the appropriate candidates become elucidated, robotic assistance may improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of reoperative LVAD surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Implantation* / methods
  • Reoperation
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Sternotomy
  • Thoracotomy* / methods