St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center first in Upstate New York to perform a robotic assisted coronary angioplasty

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center announced that it completed its first robotic-assisted coronary angioplasty as part of the CorPath PRECISE trial. The sponsored clinical trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the CorPath 200 System in delivering and manipulating coronary guidewires and stents in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. St. Joseph’s is one of only seven hospitals in the world evaluating this new technology.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease and the leading cause of death in America. The most common treatment for CAD is a PCI procedure, commonly known as angioplasty. Traditionally, PCI procedures are performed by an interventional cardiologist in a catheterization laboratory (cath lab). The physician visualizes the coronary arteries by utilizing X-ray angiography. Miniature equipment (as small as 1/14,000 of an inch in diameter) is advanced through blockages within the coronary arteries.

“An aging baby boomer population at increased risk for CAD has driven the demand for innovative, new technologies in the cath lab. However, since I started my career, the way we perform the procedure really has not changed,” said Michael Fischi, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist at St. Joseph’s. “It was very exciting to perform a procedure with robotic precision from the CorPath’s control cockpit.”

“I was able to easily and safely manipulate the guidewire and stent with precise millimeter by millimeter adjustments,” added Ronald P. Caputo, MD, FACC, FSCAI, director of cardiac services and cardiology research at St. Joseph’s. “I was able to completely focus on the patient’s physiology and anatomy with excellent visualization of the arteries. Implanting a stent while wearing heavy radiation protection clothing is, hopefully, a thing of the past.”

Today, a traditional PCI procedure exposes the interventional cardiologist to constant radiation exposure. An interventional cardiologist’s daily exposure to radiation and the physical stresses inherent in the cath lab can lead to occupational health risks— including orthopedic problems, cataracts, cancer and fatigue according to recent data published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Intervention journal.

The CorPath 200 System provides precise, robotic-assisted placement of coronary guidewires, angioplasty balloons and stents from an ergonomically optimized interventional cockpit. The operator is protected from radiation exposure in a lead shielded cockpit. The comfortable seated position provides enhanced visualization of the angiography screens, while reducing fatigue and minimizing head, neck and back pain. The ability to measure blockages accurately and position stents precisely will hopefully lead to fewer stent implants.

“We are excited to begin the CorPath PRECISE trial,” said Kathryn H. Ruscitto, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph’s. “We believe that improving precision of PCI procedures and the ergonomic conditions of the cath lab will ultimately improve patient care. Vascular robotics at St. Joseph’s emphasizes our continuous commitment to delivering state of the art technology to our patients and clinical community.”

The trial is a prospective, single-arm, multi-center, non-randomized study, which will enroll up to 175 patients at leading medical centers across the country.

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