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Cedars-Sinai Surgeons Present TeleSurgery

LOS ANGELES (November 8, 1998) - Surgeons at a training program in Cincinnati will participate in two surgical procedures taking place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Nov. 13, thanks to a state-of-the-art two-way audio, two-way video connection. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., Gregory P. Fontana, M.D., will perform a thoracoscopic video-assisted ligation of patent ductus arteriosus.

"We're closing a blood vessel that's important during a baby's development in the womb. Once the child is born, the vessel will usually close," said Dr. Fontana. "If not, it ends up pushing a great deal of blood back to the lungs after it has gone through them, flooding the lungs." Until about five years ago, the only surgical correction available was accomplished through a relatively large incision in the side of a patient's chest. But that operation has been associated with long-term physical side effects, such as scoliosis, limited range of motion in the shoulder, and cosmetic problems in breast development. The majority of patients are infants and children.

Today, a handful of surgeons are repairing the defect through 3- and 4-mm incisions, using a high-resolution 4-mm videoscope. In fact, the procedure was developed in the early- to mid-1990s at Children's Hospital in Boston, primarily by R.P. Burke, M.D. Dr. Burke, who now practices at Miami Children's Hospital and developed the procedure with Dr. Fontana, will be on site in Cincinnati during the video conference. Therefore, surgeons attending the conference will be able to discuss the procedure with two of the three surgeons in the country who have accumulated the most experience.

Although some of Dr. Fontana's patients are adult-sized adolescents, others are premature infants weighing only slightly more than a pound. Because of these differences, surgeons performing this type of minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) must have a series of instruments of varying sizes. "All of the instruments are finely machined,
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Contact: Sandra Van
sandy@vancommunications.com
1-800-396-1002
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
8-Nov-1998


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