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Technology helps Stanford shed new light on coronary bypass surgery

STANFORD, Calif. - On March 31, Joel Dyels celebrated his 72nd birthday by having coronary bypass surgery at Stanford Hospital. He also became the third patient at Stanford - and in the United States - to benefit from a new imaging system that lets doctors see the blood pathways they have created while the patient's chest is still open.

Until now, doctors were almost never able to confirm whether bypass surgery had been successful while the patient was still on the operating table. In most cases, only after the chest had been closed could doctors get an image of the heart and see whether blood was flowing through the newly created vessels.

"The new technology now is just fantastic," Dyels said. He went home five days after his surgery, which was performed by Robert Robbins, MD, professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "Anything I can do to help advance the technology is great."

This new technique has "turned on the lights in the surgical suites," said Peter Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine. Fitzgerald and his colleagues Scott Mitchell, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, and assistant professor Marc Pelletier, MD, used the new technology in surgery for the first time in the United States on March 16.

The technology, called the SPY Intra-operative Imaging System, was approved in January by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in coronary artery bypass surgery, the most common open-heart surgery in the country with more than 300,000 patients undergoing the procedure every year. The system, made by Novadaq Technologies, has been used successfully for several years in Asia, Europe and Canada, where Pelletier had used it on a number of occasions as a cardiac surgeon at the University of Toronto. Fitzgerald was instrumental in bringing the system to the United States. Both he and Robbins are on Novadaq's scientific bo
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Contact: Mitzi Baker
mitzibaker@stanford.edu
650-725-2106
Stanford University Medical Center
12-Apr-2005


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