Nearly 50 times higher percentage of Lankenau Medical Center patients undergoing minimally invasive bypass surgery compared to other US hospitals

Newswise – Wynnewood, PA — In 2005, Francis Sutter, DO, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health, pioneered a breakthrough in the field of coronary artery bypass surgery – offering an alternative approach to traditional open-heart surgery. Lankenau launched one of the nation’s first programs for robotic-assisted minimally invasive bypass surgery, seeking to reduce risks and decrease long-term complications, as well as dramatically reduce recovery time.

Results presented last week by Main Line Health medical researchers at one of the world’s leading organizations for cardiothoracic surgeons showed that the percentage of patients in Lankenau who have bypass surgery performed robotically is nearly 50 times higher compared to the rest of the centers. doctors in the country. The research also demonstrated that despite an older patient population, Lankenau’s long-term results over 16 years were consistent with or better than those in groundbreaking international clinical trials.

The results were presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) in San Diego by the study’s principal investigator from the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR). LIMR is the research division of Main Line Health.

“It is gratifying to see these results put Lankenau at the forefront,” said Sutter, who accompanied Professor Aleksander Dokollari, MD, PhD, Lankenau Cardiac Surgery Researcher and presenter at the event. “I started doing the robotic procedure in 2005 because the traditional open-heart method used to be too traumatic for older patients. Even if you ran the procedure flawlessly, they tended not to do as well. We now know for sure that robotic bypass surgery not only gives them a better chance, but also allows patients to recover faster.”

In 2021, 54.9% of all CABG procedures performed in Lankenau were done robotically, according to the most recent STS annual report data, compared to 1.2% performed nationally.

“These kinds of results are why cardiac specialists across the region refer us to coronary bypass patients,” said Katie Galbraith, MBA, FACHE, president of Lankenau Medical Center. “Large volumes lead to better results. Most importantly, we’re getting patients back to their daily activities, home to their families, and back to work faster. I am grateful to LIMR researchers for compiling and analyzing the data that show we are a national leader in robotic coronary artery bypass surgery. I know that our team is dedicated to improving more and more.”

Lankenau’s team has performed more than 2,500 robotic bypass surgeries to date. Sutter personally performed more than 2,300 of them, more than any surgeon in the United States. Gianluca Torregrossa, MD, joined as Director of the Robotic Coronary Revascularization Program at Lankenau Heart Institute in 2021, with the goal of driving further innovation.

With minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery, patients are back to their daily lives in half the time compared to recovering from an open-heart procedure. The surgeon only needs three to four very small incisions to insert the robotic arms and camera between the ribs, and the heart continues to beat during the procedure. With the traditional bypass procedure, the surgeon makes a 10-inch chest incision and cuts through the breastbone. The patient is placed on a heart-lung machine and the patient’s heart is stopped. The vast majority of robotic and traditional bypass patients in Lankenau are taken off the ventilator before leaving the operating room. Most traditional bypass patients at other institutions are not.

The detailed results of the LIMR survey are as follows:

  • The fifteen-year survival rate for patients with a Lankenau bridge was comparable to that found in the trial to which it was compared. Notably, Lankenau’s patients, on average, were significantly older (71 years) than those in the comparison study (63).
  • The low percentage of surgeries free of major adverse events (death, myocardial infarction, need for a repeat procedure) was comparable to the results of trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine despite the same average age difference.
  • Hospital complications such as postoperative atrial fibrillation and the need for transfusion due to bleeding were lower when compared to the results of two studies.

As with traditional coronary artery bypass surgery, women in the general population who underwent robotic coronary artery bypass surgery had higher rates of blood transfusion, postoperative atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm) and a higher risk of require repeated coronary intervention in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, the authors found. Women generally have a lower body mass index, which correlates with smaller coronary vessel sizes and therefore potentially greater vulnerability to certain complications. The results are in line with other clinical studies.

The other co-authors were Michel Pompeu Sá, MD, MSc, PhD; John Malin, DO; Serge Sicouri, MD; MaryAnn C. Wertan, RN; Basel Ramlawi, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Main Line Health; and Gianluca Torregrossa. The study reviewed data for all patients who underwent robotic bypass from 2005 to 2021.

Overall, long-term results were comparable between robotic-assisted and traditional bypass surgery.


About Lankenau Medical Center

Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health, has been dedicated to the health and well-being of the community since 1860, with a mission to serve those in need. Our continued dedication to service, compassionate patient care, and superior clinical programs make Lankenau a preferred destination to care for people throughout the Philadelphia region and beyond. Lankenau offers primary care, disease prevention, and specialist medical and surgical treatment of all diseases and disorders, as well as access to clinical trials. As a 371-bed teaching and research hospital, Lankenau is committed to maintaining a high level of expertise in all clinical areas and is consistently recognized for providing exceptional care. Lankenau is ranked in US News & World Report 2022–23 Best Hospitals in the top three in the Philadelphia area, top six in Pennsylvania, and top 50 in the nation for obstetrics and gynecology. Lankenau is classified as a high performer in the following specialties: Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Pulmonary Surgery, Urology. Lankenau is rated high performing in the following procedures and conditions: aortic valve surgery, back surgery (spinal fusion), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, bypass surgery Heart, Heart Failure, Hip Fracture, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Kidney Failure, Lung Cancer Surgery, Pneumonia, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Lankenau has earned the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for stroke and breast cancer care and is one of the nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Lankenau Medical Center was ranked top performer in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) General Hospital Quality Star Rating. Lankenau also earned the highest distinction for excellence in nursing care, the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a not-for-profit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are dedicated to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical, and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. They are committed to pushing the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training the next generation of scientists and clinicians.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a non-profit health care system serving Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—providing advanced medicine to treat and cure disease, playing an important role in disease prevention and management, as well as training physicians and other healthcare professionals—reflects our intent to be the region’s premier choice for clinical care, research, and education. A staff of more than 10,000 employees, 3,000 nurses and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health System.

At the core of Main Line Health are four of the region’s most respected critical care hospitals – Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital – as well as one of the nation’s leading facilities for rehabilitation medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital .

Main Line Health also includes the Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes specialized home health care, palliative care and home infusion services; Mainline health centers, primary and specialist care, laboratory and radiology and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the largest networks of multispecialty physicians in the region.

Main Line Health has received numerous awards for quality care and services, including US News and World Reports Best Hospitals, System Magnet® designation; the country’s highest distinction for excellence in nursing and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance Excellence Award for Excellence in Performance (MAAPE). Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect, equity and inclusion, has proudly received awards in this area and has embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help patients stay healthy and live their best lives.

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Nearly 50 times higher percentage of Lankenau Medical Center patients undergoing minimally invasive bypass surgery compared to other US hospitals

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