Angina is a pain someone feels when the area of their heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. It can oftentimes feel like a lot of pressure and squeezing in the chest, shoulders, arms, neck, or back and jaw. A cardiothoracic surgeon on the medical staff at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano used a medical laser and robotic surgical system to create 30 new holes in the heart of a 58-year-old Dallas man. The holes, or channels, helped relieve the intense chest pain the main — the angina — he was feeling.
Dr. Kim Jett, medical director of thoracic robotics of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, says in a news release the procedure can improve a person’s quality of life.
“These new channels created by the Holmium: YAG Laser System laser in the heart muscle allow more blood flow to the heart, eliminating some or all angina pain,” he says.
The procedure, which is called transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMR), is helpful when the angina can’t be treated by medications, stents or open-heart surgery.
The procedure could be the last option for patients with uncontrollable angina, Dr. Jett says.
Since the Dallas man completed his surgery late last year, he has not experience angina, something he has struggled with since the late 1990s. About 7 million Americans suffer from angina, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano clinicians believe this is the first robotic TMR performed in the state. The da Vinci® Surgical System is a tool that allows cardiothoracic surgeons to have a 3D visualization of the surgical area and make use of tiny surgical instruments inside the patient’s body, according to a news release. After making the incision in the patient’s side, the surgeon used the robotic arms from the control panel by placing the laser inside the patient’s chest cavity between his ribs. The new channels were created through the wall of the heart’s left ventricle using the Holmium: YAG Laser System laser.