On December 16th, 2008, 84-year-old Irene Jackson had a heart attack. She was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center, treated, and was sent to her home in Glen Burnie in time for Christmas. Her doctors at BWMC referred her to the University of Maryland Heart Center.
Doctors decided that the best procedure for Jackson, who suffered from coronary artery disease, would be a totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB), the least invasive and most advanced coronary artery bypass grafting operation.
The bypass graft is placed through tiny holes without any opening of the chest. Using a surgical robot, the surgeon makes a few small holes the width of a dime to bypass blocked heart arteries. The operation accomplishes what conventional bypass surgery does, but without a large incision to open the chest.
On December 31, Jackson underwent a hybrid coronary intervention -- a bypass graft placed through portholes without opening the chest and a stenting procedure at another coronary target. The stenting procedure was done as a staged procedure a few days after the surgery in the catheterization lab.
After the surgery, Jackson was in the hospital for a week, and then spent another week receiving rehabilitation therapy at Kernan Hospital.
“The recovery time was remarkably short. Usually the recovery time is three months and may be even longer in patients that age. Also, her stroke risk was considerable. We used a new endoscopic robotic technique with the heart beating and got her through the procedure without a neurologic problem.
Jackson has done very well after surgery, going back to her normal lifestyle, “I think recovery went along wonderfully,” she said. Since then, she has been able to resume her normal household duties such as cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping.
Jackson says she is grateful to rest of the hospital staff.