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ATS Medical and Wisconsin Heart Hospital Announce First Human Robotic Endoscopic Aortic Valve Replacement in the Midwest

MINNEAPOLIS, March 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ATS Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATSI), manufacturer and marketer of state-of-the-art cardiac surgery products and services today announced the first human robot assisted endoscopic aortic valve replacement in the Midwest using the daVinci® Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) to implant the ATS 3f ® Aortic Bioprosthesis.  The procedure was recently performed by Husam H. Balkhy, M.D., at the Wisconsin Heart Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


"The ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis is uniquely suited for use in minimally invasive procedures, especially in robot-assisted aortic valve replacement.  Using the daVinci robot aides in exposure, adds accuracy, and minimizes the size of the incision.  Our initial experience using the 3f valve and this approach was very positive, and we look forward to advancing the procedure further," stated Dr. Balkhy.

With the introduction of the ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis to the U.S. marketplace, surgeons have quickly recognized its unique potential for use in less invasive port access and robot assisted procedures.  The ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis is the first truly stentless valve in the world with no rigid supporting material.   As a result, the valve is completely pliable which allows it to be folded into a small diameter and introduced to the body through small ports using minimally invasive techniques.  No other commercially available valve can be manipulated in this manner.  

This successful minimally invasive implantation of the ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis by Dr. Balkhy is only the second one of these procedures in the United States to be performed with robotic assist, and is another important step toward providing surgeons and patients better options for the treatment of structural heart disease without an open sternotomy.  

"ATS is proud to partner with leading robot experienced cardiac surgery centers such as the Wisconsin Heart Hospital to develop minimally invasive aortic valve procedures.  Dr. Balkhy is an innovative thought leader in cardiac surgery who will continue to drive the development of minimally invasive, cosmetically favorable procedures with excellent clinical outcomes for his patients," stated Michael Dale, President and CEO of ATS Medical.

About ATS Medical

ATS Medical, Inc. is dedicated to 'Advancing The Standards' of cardiac surgery through the development, manufacturing and marketing of innovative products and services for the treatment of structural heart disease. ATS Medical serves the cardiac surgery community by focusing on two distinct but operationally synergistic market segments: heart valve disease therapy and surgical ablation of cardiac arrhythmias.

ATS was originally founded to develop the ATS Open Pivot® Heart Valve as a new mechanical heart valve standard of care. Today the ATS Open Pivot Heart Valve is the preferred mechanical heart valve in many markets around the world and the fastest growing mechanical prosthesis in the market. Building on this legacy and addressing the largest market segment in heart valve therapy, the ATS 3f® brand encompasses an innovative tissue heart valve portfolio to address conventional open surgery requirements as well as the growing demand for less invasive sutureless based procedures. The ATS 3f® portfolio includes offerings at various stages including early product development, pivotal clinical trials, and market commercialization. Completing the portfolio in heart valve therapy is the ATS Simulus® annuloplasty product line. Simulus products assist the surgeon in repairing a patient's native heart valve as an alternative to replacement. Continuing ATS Medical's focus on serving the cardiac surgery community are the ATS CryoMaze® products for surgical cryoablation of cardiac arrhythmias. ATS CryoMaze® products are used by surgeons to treat patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmias, the largest and fastest growing form of structural heart disease in populations over 60 years of age. The ATS Medical web site is

Cautionary Statements

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 impact of pending healthcare reforms, 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, 2008 and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

SOURCE ATS Medical, Inc.

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SOURCE ATS Medical, Inc.
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