News | January 08, 2009

Heart Hospital of Austin First to Use Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert to Treat Blocked Arteries

January 9, 2009 - The Heart Hospital of Austin is the first hospital in the world to use the new Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert Magnetic Guidewire, a magnetically-navigated guide wire that provides minimally invasive treatment for peripheral artery disease (PAD) and which can successfully treat chronic total occlusions (CTOs).

On Jan. 7, 2009, Frank Zidar, M.D., interventional cardiologist at Austin Heart, used the new device on a patient with severe PAD. The patient had 100 percent blockage in a main artery in his leg. Without proper treatment, the patient would have continued to experience chronic, severe pain in his leg due to poor circulation, according to a hospital spokesperson.

"Traditional treatment for blocked arteries uses manual guidewires to travel through the artery to the area of blockage in the leg. This can be extremely challenging because these guide wires are very difficult to maneuver. This new magnetic guide wire technology allows for greater control and improved accuracy," explained Dr. Zidar.

"Once the blockage is reached, the tip of the guide wire can burn or ablate a tiny passage through the blockage, allowing us then to use existing techniques to open up the blockage further. This revolutionary technology will likely reduce procedure times and therefore reduce the amount of contrast dye and imaging radiation to the patient," he added.

The Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert Magnetic Guidewire was approved by the FDA in August 2008. It is reportedly the only magnetically enabled device capable of intra-lesion steering available for crossing completely blocked arteries.

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