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Valley View launches new coronary program

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

Valley View Hospital has the launch
of the only robotic-assisted coronary angioplasty program in the Rocky Mountain
region, according to a press release.

The procedure is performed by Frank
Laws, M.D., the medical director of VVH’s Heart and Vascular Center using the
CorPath System — the first and only FDA 510(k) cleared robotic-assisted
technology to aid interventional cardiologists in placing stents and balloons
in patients with coronary artery disease.

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Valley View is the only hospital
offering this procedure in Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New
Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

“We are excited to offer this
innovative technology to treat coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Laws. “The
precision and accuracy offered through the enhanced control, visualization and
measurement of the CorPath System represent an important advancement in how we
perform angioplasties.” 

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 Coronary artery disease (CAD) is characterized
by plaque buildup that restricts blood flow in the arteries, and is a
widespread and life-threatening disease. It is the most common form of heart
disease and the leading cause of death in the United States.

Traditionally, percutaneous
coronary intervention (PCI), commonly known as an ‘angioplasty,’ is the most
common treatment for CAD. In this procedure, a balloon is used to physically
open an artery blockage to help improve blood flow. During an angioplasty,
interventional cardiologists often use stents, a wire metal mesh tube, to prop
open the artery and keep it open following the procedure. While angioplasty
procedures are performed frequently in the United States the procedure has
remained largely unchanged for decades.

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 “Vascular robotics offers physicians and
patients with a minimally-invasive technology that may improve the precision of
stent and balloon placements as well as reduce radiation of the procedure for
physicians,” said Dr. Laws.

 The CorPath System allows interventional
cardiologists to perform the procedure with robotic precision. Seated in a
radiation-protected cockpit, the physician uses a joystick to robotically
advance guide wires, angioplasty balloons and stents to clear the blockage and
restore blood flow. Additionally, the technology provides interventional
cardiologists with the ability to accurately measure the anatomy and precisely
position stents, which may lead to fewer stent implants.

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Among the first patients to benefit
from the procedure was Jim Bickling of Gypsum. “The entire experience was
pretty amazing,” he said. “It wasn’t painful and it was so quick. I was
surprised at how small the instruments are and how simple it was to correct a
complex issue in my arteries.”

Said Valley View Hospital CEO Gary
Brewer: “The adoption of the CorPath System truly emphasizes our continuous
commitment to delivering state-of-the-art technology to our patients and
clinical community.”

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