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WellSpan York Hospital offers new robotic cardiac procedure

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WellSpan York Hospital officials say their facility is the first in Pennsylvania to offer a new state-of-the-art robot for use in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures.
WellSpan York Hospital officials say their facility is the first in Pennsylvania to offer a new state-of-the-art robot for use in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. - (Photo / )

A new robotic device for assisting with heart procedures has been adopted by a midstate hospital, improving outcomes for patients while offering clinical, ergonomic and safety improvements for doctors.

WellSpan York Hospital officials said their facility is the first in Pennsylvania to offer the new state-of-the-art robot for use in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures.

Also known as stenting or coronary angioplasty, PCI improves blood flow to the heart for patients who suffer from a variety of cardiac and vascular diseases or conditions. Interventional cardiologists at WellSpan York Hospital perform an estimated 1,350 PCI procedures each year.

WellSpan cardiologists helped develop the new technology, providing feedback on plans and prototypes to Massachusetts-based manufacturer Corindus Vascular Robotics.

During the procedure, physicians control the robot’s every move from a computer console stationed a few feet away from their patients. The device assists in control and guidance and precisely placing and expanding a stent, down to the millimeter.

The robot allows doctors a larger selection of stents, said Dr. William Nicholson, interventional cardiologist for WellSpan Cardiology. That allows doctors to further tailors the procedure to individual patients, improving outcomes. The robot also increases the likelihood that a radial artery in the arm, instead of a femoral artery in the leg, can be used, which makes the procedure safer.

Benefits to doctors include decreased radiation exposure and added comfort during the procedure, as they no longer have to perform the PCI procedure while standing and wearing heavy lead aprons for protection against radiation.

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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