Hansen Medical Device Reduces Trauma in Heart Surgery

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Heart patients undergoing stent surgery sometimes face the additional risk of plaque being knocked off the inner walls of smaller vessels when surgeons go in with the current tools available. Now, thanks to a flexible robotic device by Hansen Medical, that risk could be dramatically decreased.

When surgeons move through the vessels, they often hit the sides of the small vessels, which knock loose the plaque. This can lead to a stroke if it travels to the brain or even injure the kidneys. With the Hansen Medical device, surgeons are able to travel dead center down the vessel, minimizing trauma to the vessel.

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This is of particular concern for those with Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) or Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis causes the blood vessels, notably the arteries, to harden and narrow. “The narrowing and hardening of the artery happens when deposits of calcium and cholesterol build up on the artery wall over time. These deposits are also known as plaque. Plaques deposits may build up so much that the artery may actually become completely blocked.” (source ) If a patient’s arteries are not yet completely blocked, patients with PVD may have complications during heart surgery.

Also important to note is the role CRP plays in creating Atherosclerosis. CRP (C-Reactive Protein) is a protein of the immune system that creates inflammation in the arteries. This inflammation may lead to Atherosclerosis. If you are at risk for heart disease, your doctor may want to do a blood test to check your CRP levels.

The medical device by Hansen Medical can ensure safer surgeries for these and other patients. The results of the study were presented at the 2010 Vascular Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts hosted by the Society for Vascular Surgery. During this study three stents were successfully delivered using the robotic sheath in several targeted vessels.

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