Heart surgery

UC Health Achieves US First in Endoscopic Cardiac Surgery


UC Health cardiac surgeons have successfully performed the very first “triple valve” endoscopic surgery in the United States at UC Medical Center.

In a single incision about an inch long, the team performed endoscopic heart surgery to replace the aortic and mitral valve and repair the tricuspid value – called “triple valve” surgery.

Under the direction of Tommaso Hinna Danesi, MD, Cardiac Surgeon at UC Health and Associate Professor of Surgery at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the UC Heart, Lung, and Vascular Institute can now operate up to three heart valves through a very small skin incision, compared to a traditional open heart surgical approach.

Tommaso Hinna Danesi, MD (center) and team with patient Karyn Russell
Photo: UC Health

Dr Hinna Danesi is one of 12 physicians in the world capable of performing advanced endoscopic heart valve surgery, resulting in faster recovery and reducing operating time by 50%. The surgical team also included anesthesiologists from UC Health James Bailey, MD, Ryan Noska, MD and medical assistant Anna simoni.

The patient was Karyn russell, a 63-year-old grandmother and special education teacher in Cincinnati. Russell started having heart problems about five years ago and in April he was diagnosed with heart failure. On July 12, Russell became the first patient to undergo triple endoscopic surgery in the United States.

“Due to the sternal savings and the miniaturized incision site, the patient feels less pain, has a shorter hospital stay, and overall a faster recovery and return to normal life. “said Dr Hinna Danesi.

This procedure is not only unique in terms of the operation itself, but also in the preparation. Frank J. Rybicki, MD, DoctorateUC Health’s vice president of radiology and professor at UC College of Medicine, led the surgical planning team that provided Dr. Hinna Danesi with a state-of-the-art 3D map of the patient’s heart and valves. This allowed Dr Hinna Danesi to navigate her surgical approach ahead of time to target the location of the incision and minimize the impact on the patient.

“The 3D roadmap and digital surgical plan were created for this specific procedure, and they are not available anywhere else,” said Dr. Rybicki. “The 3D printing section provides our expert surgeons with patient-specific planning and gives the surgeon the ability to new methods to conceptualize their surgery in a digital space, or to hold a 3D model in their hands to repeat the procedure.”

Russell was released from UC Medical Center within a week of the operation.



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