POSTED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 9:16am
Baton Rouge, La — Local Vascular Surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg performed the region’s first endovascular procedure at Baton Rouge General using Avinger’s Ocelot catheter, which was recently FDA-cleared.
Observing Dr. Schwartzberg’s case in the General’s state-of-the-art hybrid operating room was Ocelot inventor and interventional cardiologist Dr. John Simpson, world-renowned for inventing the over-the-wire balloon angioplasty catheter, a percutaneous closure device and the SilverHawk Plaque Excision System.
The only one of its kind, Avinger’s Ocelot system combines the use of a minimally-invasive catheter with precise imaging capabilities in endovascular procedures for patients with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – a life-threatening disease characterized by blockages in peripheral arteries that can lead to stroke, heart attack, amputation and other serious conditions. Some blockages are severe and difficult to pass through with traditional catheters, often resulting in a more invasive bypass procedure where patients must undergo an incision along with general anesthesia.
The Ocelot catheter acts like a corkscrew, wedging through the blockage, enabling a guidewire to pass through the occluded area to then allow insertion of a therapeutic device, such as a balloon or stent, to restore blood flow to the legs. The Ocelot catheter is supported by the Lightbox console which allows physicians to see real-time images from inside an artery using optical coherence tomography (OCT) during the actual procedure. In the past, surgeons would have had to rely solely on x-ray as well as touch and/or feel to guide catheters through complicated blockages. With Ocelot, physicians can more accurately navigate through chronic total occlusions (CTOs) thanks to the images from inside the artery.
“The Ocelot system is a revolutionary step in minimally-invasive procedures to help treat completely blocked arteries that will offer patients improved outcomes, and we were pleased to have Dr. Simpson introduce this leading-edge technology to our community,” states Baton Rouge Clinic vascular surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg. “With the recently expanded surgical space equipped with state-of-the-art hybrid technology and the addition of the Ocelot device, Baton Rouge General’s Womack Heart Center continues to take its comprehensive heart and vascular services to the next level.”
The American Heart Association estimates that PAD affects approximately 8-12 million Americans each year. PAD is associated with risk factors such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and elevated cholesterol and often results in leg pain while walking. Moreover, it is estimated that 200,000 amputations are performed each year as a result of PAD (and other complications such as Diabetes), and Dr. Simpson believes that many of these amputations can be avoided with this and other endovascular devices.