Advanced training model for beating heart coronary artery surgery: the Zurich heart-trainer

Reuthebuch, O. ; Lang, A. ; Groscurth, P. ; Lachat, M. ; Turina, M. ; Zünd, G.

In: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 2002, vol. 22, no. 2, p. 244-248

Zum persönliche Liste hinzufügen
    Objective: Coronary artery surgery with beating heart technique is gaining increasing popularity. However, it is a challenging technique even for well-trained cardiac surgeons. Thus, a training model for beating heart surgery was developed to increase safety and accuracy of this procedure. Methods: The model consists of differentially hardened polyurethane resembling mechanical properties of the human heart. The covering used in this model is a 1:1 replica of the human thoracic wall with optionally embedded skeletal structures. Sternotomy, lateral thoracotomy or trocar placement is possible to access the lungs, the pericardium and the heart with adjacent vessels. Disposable artificial coronaries variable in size, wall quality or wall thickness are embedded in the synthetic myocardium. Two-layer vessels, which can simulate dissection, are available. Bypass conduits utilize the same material. Coronaries/bypasses as well as part of the ascending aorta are water-tight and can be rinsed with saline. Lungs can be inflated. A purpose-built pump induces heart movement with adjustable or randomized stroke volume, heart rate and arrhythmia induction. Results: The model was tested in a recent ‘Wet-Lab' course attended by 30 surgeons. All conventional instruments and stabilizers with standard techniques can be used. Training with beating or non-beating heart was possible. Time needed for an anastomosis was similar to clinical experience. Each artificial tissue showed its individual nature-like qualities. Various degrees of difficulty can be selected, according to stroke volume, heart rate, arrhythmia, vessel size and vessel quality. The model can be quickly and easily set up and is fully reusable. Conclusions: The similarity to human tissue and the easy set-up make this completely artificial model an ideal teaching tool to increase the confidence of cardiac surgeons dealing with beating heart and minimally invasive surgery