Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Are minimal access techniques always feasible in all patients?

There are very few situations in which these procedures cannot be safely performed, such as in the case of severe chest deformities which would be assessed at the time of the first consultation. Only a cardiac surgeon with many years of experience in these procedures should be sought to give you an exact opinion about your suitability for minimal access or minimal invasive operations.

2 - Why do not all cardiac surgeons perform minimal access operations?

These techniques are often technically complex and frequently require technologies that are not available in every cardiac theatre set up for traditional operations. It would not be appropriate for a patient to choose a surgeon who has NOT performed many hundreds of minimal invasive operations before yours. A truly experienced minimally invasive surgeon can perform traditional operations, whereas, the opposite is not true!

3 - What do I have to take to Mr. Casula’s outpatients’ clinic at the time of my first consultation?

You will need to bring all recent medical reports such as echocardiograms and coronary angiograms. A copy of your angiogram which is usually stored in a CD can be reviewed at the time of your consultation.

4 - How do the surgery times compare to traditional operating times?

An experienced minimal invasive surgeon will be able to perform a minimal invasive operation in a similar amount of time as a traditional surgery.

5 - If I have been referred to a cardiac surgeon can I still seek an opinion about a minimal access, minimal invasive or robotic operation?

Yes, you are entitled to ask for a copy of your tests and to seek for a second consultant opinion privately.

Cardiac surgery could be one of the most serious events of anyone's life. You are wise to learn more about other less invasive cardiac operations that are not routinely performed in your local area.

6 - How soon will I be allowed to fly after surgery?

If you are a non –UK resident I will advise you to stay in the UK for 2-3 weeks after surgery before flying back home.

7 - Are any of these techniques experimental?

Not at all, I routinely perform the operations described here in the UK. All these operations are routinely performed in leading institutions by celebrated minimal invasive cardiac surgeons in the US and other European countries.

8 - How do I know if a cardiac surgeon is very experienced with OPCAB/beating heart surgery?

If you are in doubt, ask your surgeon about the percentage of OPCAB operations he/she performs every year. This should be over 90% for an experienced OPCAB surgeon. For other information you can contact the General Medical Council.