Robot Can Perform Heart Bypass Surgery

Tuesday night on ABC's World News, you may have seen a man from Maryland undergo triple bypass surgery performed by a robot.

Now, that same technology is available right here in East Texas at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. It's called the Da Vinci and its robotic arm is controlled by a doctor, reducing any sort of hand tremor and creating a less invasive procedure.

Wednesday, a man from Abilene travelled all the way here to undergo a coronary bypass performed by the Da Vinci.

"This was one of two electives I had, and I chose this one with it being less invasive," says patient Ira Laird.

"It's a tremendous benefit for the people of East Texas to have this technology available and have available to them an operation that's much less traumatic and can result in a more rapid recovery," says Dr. Bill Turner, a cardiac surgeon with Trinity Mother Frances Hospital.

Dr. Turner adds the Da Vinci can also be used for other surgeries besides coronary bypass.

Tracy Watler, reporting.