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Robotic Surgery System Wins FDA Approval

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 27, 2012

Corindus Vascular Robotics’ CorPath 200 System has just been cleared by the FDA.

The robotics system assists in angioplasty, a type of heart surgery where blood flow is corrected in blocked coronary arteries. In the process, a balloon is inflated within the artery to keep it open, allowing the implantation of a stent within.

The main problem in existing procedures for angioplasty concerns the significant risks that the surgical staff face.

For one, during the patient X-rays involved in the surgical process, surgeons remain exposed to the ambient radiation. The lead apron that is part of surgical attire during this process doesn’t provide comprehensive protection, and the weight of the heavy apron for the duration of the angioplasty can and does lead to orthopedic complications.

That’s where the CorPath intervenes. The surgeon controls the robotic system throughout the angioplasty from a lead-lined cockpit. Surgeons can view the process clearly via several monitors, and the highly precise controls allow finely-tuned movements during the implantation and stent phases.

Forbes quotes Dr. Giora Weisz M.D., who directs clinical research at the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy:

“Overall, the system makes the doctor more relaxed. It’s better for patients would rather have a relaxed, fresh doctor than a tired, annoyed one. The precision of the procedure is also better, as is the visualization. That means fewer mistakes and fewer chances that a patient will have to come back to surgery for a second stent. It just optimizes everything you do.”

This innovation appears to deliver on its promises.

Clinical trials demonstrated a 97.6 percent success rate for CorPath-enabled procedures, while operating doctors faced up to 95 percent reduced radiation.

The intervention of robotics into the medical world is something we should all look forward to, as these highly sophisticated machines afford a level of precision few human hands can measure up to.