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Heart Hospital of Austin First in World to Use New Device for Blocked Arteries

New magnetically-navigated guidewire provides minimally-invasive treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Heart Hospital of Austin is the first hospital in the world to use the new Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert(TM) Magnetic Guidewire to successfully treat chronic total occlusions (CTOs), or complete blockages in patients with peripheral artery disease.

Austin Heart interventional cardiologist, Frank Zidar, M.D. used the new device on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, on a patient with severe peripheral artery disease (PAD). The patient had 100% blockage in a main artery in his leg. Without proper treatment, he would continue to experience chronic, severe pain in his leg due to poor circulation, according to a hospital spokesperson.

"Traditional treatment for blocked arteries uses manual guidewires to travel through the artery to the area of blockage in the leg. This can be extremely challenging because these guidewires are very difficult to maneuver. This new magnetic guidewire technology allows for greater control and improved accuracy," explains Dr. Frank Zidar.

"Once the blockage is reached, the tip of the guidewire can burn or ablate a tiny passage through the blockage, allowing us then to use existing techniques to open up the blockage further. This revolutionary technology will likely reduce procedure times and therefore reduce the amount of contrast dye and imaging radiation to the patient," he added.

Peripheral Artery Disease affects eight to twelve million Americans, according to the American Heart Association. If left untreated, patients can experience ulcerations and gangrene that significantly increase their risk of losing a limb or even result in death.

The Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert(TM) Magnetic Guidewire was approved by the FDA in August 2008. It is the only magnetically enabled device capable of intra-lesion steering available for crossing completely blocked arteries.

Heart Hospital of Austin was chosen as one of only two clinical sites in the world to study the efficacy of the new Stereotaxis RF PowerAssert(TM) Magnetic Guidewire.

SOURCE Heart Hospital of Austin
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