A pioneering heart operation using a robotic arm named Amigo has taken place at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.
The arm was controlled by surgeon Dr Andre Ng, with the assistance of an advanced 3D image of the patient’s heart. It was the first time the technique has been used in catheter ablation, where the organ’s inner lining is ablated or “burned” to treat irregular heartbeats. The operation was successfully carried out on patient Paddy Flood from Derby. Mr Flood suffers from an irregular heart rhythm condition called atrial fibrillation.
Dr Ng said: “The initial experience with using the Amigo system suggests that great precision of catheter movement can be achieved using robotic control. “Combining this for the first time with the accuracy of placing ablation lesions with the CARTO-3 3D mapping system is a significant way forward. “It is hoped that using the two advanced technologies together would improve the efficacy and safety of these complex procedures.”
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, with over half a million sufferers in the UK. It increases the risk of a person having a stroke by five times and doubles the risk of death. More than 200 catheter ablation operations have taken place at Glenfield Hospital, and six months ago Dr Ng used the Amigo robotic arm to carry out the procedure for the first time, but without the assistance of the 3D mapping system.