News | June 11, 2008

Intraoperative Fluorescent Imaging System Used in Cardiothoracic Surgeries

June 12, 2008 - St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) is one of the first hospitals on the West Coast to routinely use the SPY Intraoperative imaging system (SPY or SPY System) in cardiothoracic procedures surgeries to confirm placement of bypass grafts.

The SPY System is an FDA approved intraoperative imaging system that provides real-time fluorescent images while the patient is in the operating room. The SPY System enables cardiac surgeons at St. Mary’s to confirm proper placement of bypass grafts and visually assess their effectiveness during coronary artery bypass graft procedures. Similarly, physicians at SMMC’s Plastic Reconstructive Orthopedic Surgery Center performing reconstructive procedures use the SPY System to see the blood flow in cojoined vessels, microvasculature and related tissue perfusion in real-time.

“We’re committed to adopting technology that allows us to provide the highest quality of cardiac care possible to our patients at St. Mary’s,” said Eddie Tang, M.D., cardiac surgeon at SMMC. “The SPY System enables us to immediately visually assess the blood flow in our bypass grafts, confirm that that we have performed the best possible bypass procedure, and potentially improve immediate and long-term outcomes for the patient.”
The SPY System combines the use of an infrared laser, high-speed imaging and a fluorescent imaging agent. The imaging agent, which is administered to patients intravenously during the procedure, emits light when stimulated by the infrared laser. During surgery, the imaging agent lights up in blood flowing through the circulatory system while the camera captures the live images. If the images indicate that a graft might not be functioning optimally, the surgeon can immediately make revisions in the operating room.

SMMC now joins other institutions utilizing the SPY System, including the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Stanford University Medical Center and the Arizona Heart Institute.

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