Plaque can slowly buildup in the heart, causing arteries to become blocked over time. This can reduce blood flow to the heart while creating discomfort in the chest. Medication and lifestyle changes may help decrease symptoms. However, if symptoms worsen or a heart attack occurs, angioplasty is often the option to treat this type of heart disease.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty, is a procedure performed by interventional cardiologists to open blocked arteries in the heart and restore blood flow. A robot-assisted PCI is performed using a set of joysticks and touchscreen controls that serve as an extension of the cardiologist’s hands, affording extra precision and detailed visualization inside the heart.
During the robot-assisted procedure, live x-rays are used to help the interventional cardiologist track the position of guide wires and catheters in relation to the blockage in the heart. The robotic system allows the cardiologist to move a balloon to open the artery and place a stent, a millimeter at a time. A stent is a small wire-mesh tube which remains permanently in the artery to decrease the chance of it narrowing again.
The robot guides placement of instruments so precisely that less radiation is often needed and sizing and placement of stents is improved.
The robot-assisted PCI system’s software enables expert wiring and positioning that is particularly helpful in complex cases. Precise movements and measurements made by the robot help cardiologists navigate arteries and blood vessels with many branch points.
For more information about robotic-assisted angioplasty call (925) 674-2233.