Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Programme
National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) is home to a comprehensive Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (MICS) Programme. This is the result of years of time and effort, investments, envisioning, faith and teamwork.
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Seven years ago, NUHCS’s Division of Adult Cardiac Surgery piloted the MICS Programme – an enhanced technique of using smaller incisions and tools for heart surgery. We have now accumulated more experience, which enables further expansion and presentation of a valid platform to treat both coronary and structural heart disease.
After collectively reaching specific key milestones in infrastructure, team training at the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS), routine cases and achievements in Southeast Asia, we are now offering a solid and reproducible platform for the treatment of surgical heart disease, be it single or multiple.
Our MICS Programme and its positive clinical outcomes are backed by a clinical and basic research team, which reviews data and help further advance MICS technologies in the lab, with funding support from the National Medical Research Council. For instance, it was found that patients stay in the hospital for a signicantly shorter period after mitral valve or aortic valve surgery.
To reach here, it took us years of training, both individually and as a team, and substantial financial investments to become what we are today with well-equipped operating theatres for MICS in the region.
Our centre also has existing and upcoming scientific publications, some of which have garnered international recognition including the World Society of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons in 2017.
Benefits of MICS
In a recent study, it was reported that patients who underwent MICS have a faster recovery compared to traditional surgeries. Due to smaller incisions, there is less trauma to the body and less length of hospital stay. As a result, patients are able to return to their daily activities and mobilty sooner.
These results are truly encouraging! However, not every patient is suitable for MICS. Therefore, we provide detailed consultation, assessment and scans before recommending patients for the programme.
A Centre for Training and Education
Our MICS programme has since achieved an international presence and is serving as a pillar for structured training and education. We have organised workshops, wet-labs, boot-camps, and even ran entire chapters of international conferences.
Over the years, we have also made developments such as introducing technologies in Singapore and Asia, thereby underscoring our position as a dedicated heart centre.
In the meantime, interest in sending doctors for training at our centre is growing internationally, while the industry is in pursuit of a joint educational project based in our institution, to help bring about progress in the field. Conclusively, we wish to reach and inform the public in Singapore and beyond on the option to have their heart surgery done in MICS fashion, and understand the benets, inclusion and exclusion criteria of this platform.
As the saying goes, “When we share, the rice bowl does not diminish; it actually doubles”. Let’s share our knowledge and skills in our pursuit of innovation and progress.
By A/Prof. Theodoros Kofidis