This device lets surgeons attach small anchors to tissue inside a beating heart by compensating for the heart’s movement.
Fixing the heart is hard. Certain procedures have to be performed on a stationary organ, so the heart is stopped and the patient put on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. But stopping the heart increases the risk of brain damage. Now researchers at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston are testing a robotic system that could help surgeons perform a common valve repair while the heart beats on. The system uses 3-D ultrasound images to predict and compensate for the motion of the heart so that the surgeon can work on a patient’s mitral valve as it moves.