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ATS Medical Announces First 'Frontiers in Cryoablation' Symposium

Event is Co-Sponsored by Intuitive Surgical and ATS Medical

MINNEAPOLIS, April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ATS Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATSI), manufacturer and marketer of state-of-the-art cardiac surgery products and services, today announced the first Frontiers in Cryoablation Symposium to be held at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Annual Meeting in San Diego. The symposium is the first in a series of meetings intended to further the evolution and direction for cryoablation therapy, a treatment for atrial fibrillation. Dr. James L. Cox, inventor of the Maze procedure and Medical Director for ATS Medical, will lead the symposia series. The program will include a preeminent faculty of cardiac surgeons reporting on current techniques, robotics, and the future of minimally invasive cryoablation utilizing the ATS CryoMaze(TM) Surgical Ablation System.


This first symposium, titled "Current Techniques, Robotics and the Future of Minimally Invasive Cryoablation" is sponsored collaboratively by ATS Medical and Intuitive Surgical, the makers of the da Vinci(R) Surgical System (Nasdaq: ISRG). The symposium follows the recent market release of Intuitive Surgical's Endowrist Cardiac Probe Grasper -- a device specifically designed to assist the da Vinci System in manipulating ATS CryoMaze Surgical Ablation Probes to complete the Cox Maze III procedure. The Symposium will be conducted on Sunday, May 11 at 7:00 pm.

"The Frontiers in Cryoablation Series will provide a forum for presenting the current capabilities of surgical cryoablation and allow physicians to collaborate on the future of minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. I am excited about the opportunity to expand the application of cryoablation using minimal access and stand-alone procedures to maximize the benefit for surgeons and their patients," stated Dr. James Cox, Medical Director for ATS Medical.

The treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) is believed to be the largest untapped opportunity in medical devices with an estimated multi-billion dollar market potential. In contrast, the current surgical market size is estimated at $121 million in 2007. Based on initial clinical results, management believes that only ATS has the technology -- the ATS CryoMaze Surgical Ablation System -- proven to yield clinical results similar to the conventional cut-and-sew Cox Maze III procedure, but with an approach involving small incisions. As such, the surgical AF business is expected to be a key growth opportunity for ATS in 2008 and beyond.

About ATS Medical

ATS Medical, Inc. provides innovative products and services focused on cardiac surgery. The Company, global in scope, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More than 145,000 ATS Open Pivot(R) Heart Valves, which utilize a unique pivot design resulting in exceptional performance and low risk profile, have been implanted in patients worldwide. The ATS 3f(R) brand encompasses multiple tissue heart valve product offerings at varying steps from market introductions to clinical trials to development projects that incorporate less invasive valve replacement technology. ATS Medical's focus on serving the cardiac surgery community is further strengthened by offerings that include ATS Simulus(R) annuloplasty products for heart valve repair and ATS CryoMaze(TM) surgical ablation products. The ATS Medical web site is

About Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is the global technology leader in the field of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets robotic technologies designed to improve clinical outcomes and help patients return more quickly to active and productive lives. The company's mission is to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients. More information is available at and Intuitive Surgical -- Taking surgical precision beyond the limits of the human hand. (TM)

Safe Harbor

This Press Release contains forward-looking statements that may include statements regarding intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements as a result of a number of important factors, including the results of clinical trials, the timing of regulatory approvals, the integration of 3f Therapeutics and the surgical cryoablation business of CryoCath Technologies, Inc., regulatory actions, competition, pricing pressures, supplier actions and management of growth. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could affect the Company's activities and results, please refer to the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007.

SOURCE ATS Medical, Inc.
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