Maureen Curran Kleinman
Marketing and Communications
Ridgewood, NJ - May 6, 2008 - Cardiovascular specialists at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., are the first in the state to use magnet-guided technology to enhance the precision and safety of procedures to treat certain heart rhythm problems, or cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmias are any disturbance in the regular rhythm of the heartbeat.
The acquisition of the new technology, called Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation System, continues a tradition of innovation at Valley in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Valley was the first hospital in New Jersey to offer catheter ablation -- a non-surgical approach -- and a minimally invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia.
The Stereotaxis system allows physicians to treat cardiac arrhythmias with a greater degree of safety and precision by driving powerful magnets positioned near the patient with sophisticated software used by the physician. The software maps a pathway through a patient's blood vessels and heart to the diseased heart tissue, and the magnets lead a soft catheter gently along this pathway by guiding its magnetic tip.
This enables the physician to safely position the catheter in the precise location of the heart's malfunction. The physician can then activate the catheter and effectively deliver the required treatment.
In addition to the benefits associated with more precise catheter placement, the Stereotaxis catheter's innovative "gentle-touch" design makes it possible to navigate and touch hearts and blood vessels in a softer, more accurate way than ever before.
"This magnetic navigation system is an innovation in cardiovascular care," said Jonathan S. Steinberg, M.D., Director of Electrophysiology at Valley, who uses the Stereotaxis system. "The computer navigation combined with the gentler catheter makes the catheter placement safer and more precise, allowing us to access remote areas of the heart that were difficult, if not impossible, to access before."
The potential benefits to patients include:
- Shorter procedures
- Faster recovery time
- Less exposure to X-ray radiation
- Less risk of serious complications from damaging blood vessels or heart tissue; and
- Less likelihood of referral to more invasive open-heart procedures
"Every day, new technologies are paving the way for better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients with cardiovascular problems," Dr. Steinberg said. "At Valley, we are committed to providing the most advanced tools to allow doctors to find and treat problems quickly, using the least invasive methods."