World first remote heart operation to be carried out in Leicester using robotic arm

April 28, 2010

A pioneering world first robotics system operation is to be conducted at Glenfield Hospital Leicester thanks to expertise at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester.

Dr André Ng, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester, is the first person in the world to carry out the operation remotely on patients using this system.

He will use the Catheter Robotics Remote Catheter Manipulation System for the first time in a heart rhythm treatment procedure.

The system is novel because it allows a doctor to carry out a common heart treatment procedure remotely using a robotic arm.

These procedures involve inserting thin wires, called catheters, into blood vessels at the top of the groin and advanced into the heart chambers. Electrodes on the catheters record and stimulate different regions of the heart to help the doctor identify the cause of the heart rhythm problem which usually involves an abnormality in the electrical wiring system of the heart. Once this area is identified, one of the catheters will be placed at the location to ablate or "burn" the tissue to cure the problem. Catheter ablation has been developed and used over the past 2 decades effectively in many patients suffering palpitations due to heart rhythm disturbances.

Dr Ng said: "The new Robotic procedure is an important step forward because, while some procedures are straightforward, others can take several hours. Because X-rays are used to allow the doctor to monitor what is going on inside the patient, it means that doctors standing close to the patient wear radiation shields such as lead aprons which are burdensome. Protracted procedures can lead to clinician fatigue and high cumulative radiation exposure.

"The benefit of the Robotics system to the patient is that movement of the catheter could be done with great precision. It is anticipated that further developments of the system may allow complex procedures to be made more streamlined. On the other hand, benefits to the doctor are that heavy lead aprons would not be necessary as he / she will be controlling the movements of the catheter using the Remote Controller at a distance from the patient outside the radiation area and that he / she can be sitting closer to the monitors displaying electrical signals and x-ray images as opposed to standing at some distance across the room from them which is current practice."

Dr Ng and his team's international standing and leading position in the management of heart rhythm disorders are reflected in the invitation to be the first to apply this new Robotics System in clinical procedures which also affirms the world-class research and pioneering work at the University of Leicester.

The Remote Catheter Manipulation System (RCMS, Catheter Robotics Inc., New Jersey) is a new system and Dr André Ng, who has extensive experience in EPS procedures, has been selected to apply the system in human studies for the first time in the world. Two other remote navigation systems are commercially available but one uses a huge magnetic field to control a magnetic tip catheter whilst the other uses a large deflectable sheath to move the catheter. The RCMS has the benefit of using standard EPS catheters which can be dismounted and remounted onto the system with ease. The technology has obtained CE mark through rigorous bench safety testing and pre-clinical studies and has now arrived at a stage where it can be applied to clinical procedures.

Dr Ng is an expert in the management of heart rhythm disturbances especially in catheter ablation and the use of mapping systems in such procedures. The Department of Cardiology at Glenfield Hospital is one of the largest Electrophysiology Centres in the UK performing over 600 EPS procedures every year. Dr Ng has a distinguished research profile in investigations into cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmia mechanisms, leading both non-clinical and clinical teams of talented researchers. At the cutting edge of scientific research and development, the innovative work in his group has been acknowledged with many accolades including Young Investigator and Da Vinci Awards. He is also Director of pan-European training programmes on advanced three-dimensional mapping systems and arrhythmia ablation
-end-
NOTE TO NEWSDESK:

Interviews and filming opportunities available on Wednesday April 28: Please contact the UHL press office to arrange:

Helen Heald
Communications Officer
0116 258 8592
Mobile: 07921 545809

Media will be able to film how the Robotics system works outside the body, i.e. how the Remote Controller would move the catheter, to illustrate how it would be working inside the body.

With patients' permission and consent, it would also be possible to film parts of the procedure in progress including the functioning of the Robotics System seen from the operating area, the movement of the catheter seen from X-ray / fluoroscopic images and electrical signals obtained during the procedure. It would also be possible, with patients' permission to film the difference in how the doctor would perform the EPS procedures with the Robotics system and without the Robotics system.

Access to images: Catheter Robotics Inc. is the manufacturer. Their website http://catheterrobotics.com/ has some images and a Flash movie describing the system.

Dot Medical is the UK distributor of the system http://www.dot-medical.com/

Image of Dr Ng available from pressoffice@le.ac.uk

Remember to cite University of Leicester and Glenfield Hospital in any report.

University of Leicester

Related Catheter Articles from Brightsurf:

Catheter ablation linked to reduced risk of dementia in patients with atrial fibrillation
People with atrial fibrillation have a reduced risk of dementia if they undergo a procedure called catheter ablation to restore the normal rhythm of their heart, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal that analyses over 27,000 patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation out of a population of nearly a million people.

New female external catheter technology reduces CAUTI by 50%
Hospital-wide introduction of new female external catheter technology halved the number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) according to new research presented last week in Philadelphia at the 46th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Catheter ablation reduces dementia risk in A-Fib, heart disease patients more than medications
Study finds that performing catheter ablations on patients who suffer from both atrial fibrillation and carotid arterial disease reduces their risk of dementia and stroke compared to managing their care with medications.

Germ-fighting catheter coating may help prevent infections
In an innovation that may ultimately help to prevent deadly bloodstream infections, a team of biomedical engineers and infectious disease specialists at Brown University developed a coating to keep intravascular catheters from becoming a haven for harmful bacteria.

Annals of Internal Medicine embargoed news; Catheter ablation superior to standard drug
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that catheter ablation was superior to conventional drug therapy alone for patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

Experts strongly recommend catheter based closure for 'hole in the heart' patients
A catheter based procedure to close a type of 'hole in the heart' followed by antiplatelet drugs (e.g. aspirin) should be recommended for patients under 60 years old, who have also had a stroke, say a panel of experts in The BMJ today.

Foleys aren't fun: Patient study shows catheter risks
A new study puts large-scale evidence behind what many hospital patients already know: Having a urinary catheter may help empty the bladder, but it can hurt, lead to urinary tract infections, or cause other issues in the hospital and beyond.

Catheter ablation better than pharmacological atrial fibrillation therapies
A new study revealed patients receiving radiofrequency catheter ablation compared to traditional drug therapies for atrial fibrillation (AF), a contributing factor to heart failure, had significantly lower hospitalization and mortality rates.

A self-propelled catheter with earthworm-like peristaltic motion
A research team of Toho University and Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a mechanism of a self-propelled catheter capable of generating peristaltic motion just like an earthworm by applying pneumatic pressure inside only one tube.

New cardiac catheter combines light and ultrasound to measure plaques
Biomedical engineers at UC Davis have combined intravascular ultrasound with fluorescence lifetime imaging in a single catheter probe that can image the tiny arteries of a living heart.

Read More: Catheter News and Catheter Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.