Heart Surgery Goes High Tech

Robotic percutaneous coronary intervention found safe

(RxWiki News) A treatment to open clogged arteries could become safer for both patients and the doctors performing the procedures through a high tech robotic device found to increase precision.

Robotically-enhanced coronary angioplasty with stent placement to keep the arteries open reduces doctor's exposure to radiation, while also better protecting patient health.

"Talk to a cardiologist about appropriate procedures for clogged arteries."

Giora Weisz, MD, Director of Clinical Cardiovascular Research at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the principal investigator of the trial, said that the robotic heart procedure benefits both patients and the interventional cardiologists performing the procedures.

During traditional angioplasty procedures, doctors are often exposed to significant levels of radiation and physical stress that can prompt orthopedic problems.

The robotic procedure protects interventional cardiologists by having them perform the procedure from a seated radiation-protected cockpit without the need for the usual lead apron.

They utilize a precise computer-controlled guidewire to perform the procedure and stents are placed using a joystick. From their cockpit, doctors also have a better view of the angiography screens, aiding with more accurate measurements down to the millimeter.

During the PRECISE study (CorPath Percutaneous Robotically-Enhanced Coronary Intervention Study), interventional cardiologists performed robotically-enhanced angioplasty and stent placement in 164 patients at nine medical centers using the CorPath 200 robotic system.

Researchers determined that the overall procedure success rate was 98 percent, while physician exposure to radiation was reduced by 95 percent.

“The PRECISE trial demonstrates robotically-assisted PCI is safe and feasible for most patients,” said Dr. Weisz. “At the same time, robotic treatment can make the procedure safer for the interventional cardiologist as well, by reducing the risk of radiation."

The study, funded by Corindus Vascular Robotics, was recently presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions' 2012 scientific sessions.

Review Date: 
May 15, 2012