Robot-Assisted Heart Surgery Expert Dr. Allen Raczkowski Joins UA Department of Surgery

Allen Raczkowski, MDAllen Raczkowski, MD, has joined the University of Arizona Department of Surgery Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery as assistant professor of surgery. Recognized as one of the pioneers in using the da Vinci robot for minimally invasive coronary operations, Dr. Raczkowski performed hundreds of robot-assisted heart surgeries in Phoenix before joining the UA.
 
Dr. Raczkowski’s practice focuses on robot-assisted heart valve surgery, such as mitral valve repair and replacement and robot-assisted aortic valve surgery. He was the first surgeon in the world to use the robot to do non-arrested mitral repairs on a human. During this procedure, the heart continues to beat while the valve is repaired. In Arizona, he was the first todo endoscopic robotic mitral valve replacement and repairs, and the first to do a surgical maze procedure to treatatrial fibrillation. During the maze surgery, the surgeon uses small incisions, radio waves, freezing, or microwave or ultrasound energy to create scar tissue to block the abnormal electrical signals causing the arrhythmia.
 
Mitral valve repair surgery is performed to correct a leaking mitral valve — a condition known as mitral valve regurgitation. The most common approach to mitral valve repair requires the surgeon to open the chest with a 10- to 12-inch incision and divide the breast bone. In a robot-assisted repair procedure, the surgeon operates through a ½- to 1-inch incision in the right side of the chest. Avoiding major incisions dramatically reduces the traumatic impact of the operation. As a result, patients recover more quickly, experience less pain and suffer fewer complications.
 
The University of Arizona Medical Center is the only hospital in Arizona where mitral valve repair and replacement, aortic valve surgery and coronary bypass procedures are performed using the da Vinci surgical robot.
 
Board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery, Dr. Raczkowski completed his general surgery residency and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
 
“Dr. Raczkowski brings with him a tremendous amount of experience and skill using highly advanced techniques that complement our team,” says Robert Poston, MD, professor and chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “Working with a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiac surgeons and others, he will help to make the Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Center an example of collaborative excellence.”
 
“Dr. Raczkowski is an asset to our department and helps us solidify our reputation as a leading institution for minimally invasive cardiac surgery,” says Rainer W.G. Gruessner, MD, professor and chairman, UA Department of Surgery.
 
To make an appointment with Dr. Raczkowski, please call 520-694-1000.