Dr Ng's team work in the operating theatre while the operation is conducted.
World first remote heart operation to be carried out in Leicester using robotic arm
Expert at University of Leicester and Glenfield Hospital to conduct pioneering treatment
Issued on 28 April 2010
Photo and interview opportunities info below
Please cite University of Leicester and Glenfield Hospital Leicester in all reports
A pioneering world first robotics system operation is to be conducted at Glenfield Hospital Leicester thanks to expertise at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester.
Dr André Ng, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester, is the first person in the world to carry out the operation remotely on patients using this system.
He will use the Catheter Robotics Remote Catheter Manipulation System for the first time in a heart rhythm treatment procedure.
The system is novel because it allows a doctor to carry out a common heart treatment procedure remotely using a robotic arm.
These procedures involve inserting thin wires, called catheters, into blood vessels at the top of the groin and advanced into the heart chambers. Electrodes on the catheters record and stimulate different regions of the heart to help the doctor identify the cause of the heart rhythm problem which usually involves an abnormality in the electrical wiring system of the heart. Once this area is identified, one of the catheters will be placed at the location to ablate or “burn” the tissue to cure the problem. Catheter ablation has been developed and used over the past 2 decades effectively in many patients suffering palpitations due to heart rhythm disturbances.
Dr Ng said: “The new Robotic procedure is an important step forward because, while some procedures are straightforward, others can take several hours. Because X-rays are used to allow the doctor to monitor what is going on inside the patient, it means that doctors standing close to the patient wear radiation shields such as lead aprons which are burdensome. Protracted procedures can lead to clinician fatigue and high cumulative radiation exposure.
“The benefit of the Robotics system to the patient is that movement of the catheter could be done with great precision. It is anticipated that further developments of the system may allow complex procedures to be made more streamlined. On the other hand, benefits to the doctor are that heavy lead aprons would not be necessary as he / she will be controlling the movements of the catheter using the Remote Controller at a distance from the patient outside the radiation area and that he / she can be sitting closer to the monitors displaying electrical signals and x-ray images as opposed to standing at some distance across the room from them which is current practice.”
Dr Ng and his team’s international standing and leading position in the management of heart rhythm disorders are reflected in the invitation to be the first to apply this new Robotics System in clinical procedures which also affirms the world-class research and pioneering work at the University of Leicester.
The Remote Catheter Manipulation System (RCMS, Catheter Robotics Inc., New Jersey) is a new system and Dr André Ng, who has extensive experience in EPS procedures, has been selected to apply the system in human studies for the first time in the world. Two other remote navigation systems are commercially available but one uses a huge magnetic field to control a magnetic tip catheter whilst the other uses a large deflectable sheath to move the catheter. The RCMS has the benefit of using standard EPS catheters which can be dismounted and remounted onto the system with ease. The technology has obtained CE mark through rigorous bench safety testing and pre-clinical studies and has now arrived at a stage where it can be applied to clinical procedures.
Dr Ng is an expert in the management of heart rhythm disturbances especially in catheter ablation and the use of mapping systems in such procedures. The Department of Cardiology at Glenfield Hospital is one of the largest Electrophysiology Centres in the UK performing over 600 EPS procedures every year. Dr Ng has a distinguished research profile in investigations into cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmia mechanisms, leading both non-clinical and clinical teams of talented researchers. At the cutting edge of scientific research and development, the innovative work in his group has been acknowledged with many accolades including Young Investigator and Da Vinci Awards. He is also Director of pan-European training programmes on advanced three-dimensional mapping systems and arrhythmia ablation
Further to the initial experience, it is planned to extend the use of the robotic system in research trials to be supported by the new Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit.
Click here to view a video of Dr Ng discussing the operation by the South West News Service.
NOTE TO NEWSDESK:
Interviews and filming opportunities available on Wednesday April 28: Please contact the UHL press office to arrange:
Helen Heald, Communications Officer, 0116 258 8592
Media will be able to film how the Robotics system works outside the body, i.e. how the Remote Controller would move the catheter, to illustrate how it would be working inside the body.
With patients’ permission and consent, it would also be possible to film parts of the procedure in progress including the functioning of the Robotics System seen from the operating area, the movement of the catheter seen from X-ray / fluoroscopic images and electrical signals obtained during the procedure. It would also be possible, with patients’ permission to film the difference in how the doctor would perform the EPS procedures with the Robotics system and without the Robotics system.
Access to images:
Catheter Robotics Inc. is the manufacturer. Their website http://catheterrobotics.com/ has some images and a Flash movie describing the system.
Dot Medical is the UK distributor of the system http://www.dot-medical.com/
Image of Dr Ng available from email@example.com
Remember to cite University of Leicester and Glenfield Hospital in any report.