Minimally Invasive Cardiac Treatments (part 3 of 3) at Penn Medicine

Learn how Penn Medicine doctors are using minimally invasive techniques, including robotics, to repair two patients' hearts without opening their chests, reducing the patients' discomfort, recovery time and need for medications.

While both patients are in their late 30s, their conditions vary - one has mitral valve prolapse and requires surgery, the other has an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation and is undergoing a therapy pioneered at Penn.

Ken Bull, a 39 year old with a wife, young daughter and another child on the way, is an avid athlete, whose lifestyle has been negatively impacted by a rapid, irregular heart rate condition known as atrial fibrillation. In an effort to avoid taking multiple medications the rest of life, as well as the possibility of not being able to play sports again, Ken has turned to the Penn Cardiac Care team, led by Francis Marchlinski, MD, with the hope of eliminating his heart rhythm disturbances forever.

Several years ago, Stephen Griboski discovered he had mitral valve prolapse, a leaky, faulty valve, which essentially allows blood to be pumped back into the lungs. Though he was short of breath at times, Stephen continued to live life as normal, but a visit to his doctor changed his perspective. If he didn't undergo valve repair surgery, he would be at a higher risk of developing heart disease and/or experiencing a heart attack and be a likely candidate for a heart transplant.

Based on the suggestion of his interventional cardiologist, John Hirshfeld, MD, Stephen has chosen to undergo the latest technical advancement in cardiac surgery - robotics. Tune into the show to see how it is performed and the results of this amazing technology.

Learn more about Penn Heart and Vascular:


April 22, 2013

Created by

Penn Physician VideoLink