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Advocate Christ Medical Center news

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It's Advanced, It's Robotic and It's Making a Huge Difference in the Lives of Patients with Irregular Heartbeats

Oak Lawn, Ill. – An advanced robotic system that allows physicians to treat irregular heartbeats – both common and complex – non-surgically with a greater degree of safety, precision and efficiency is available for the first time in North America at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

This instrument, the newly approved Stereotaxis (NASDAG:STXS) Vdrive™ with V-Sono™ system, has been added to the medical center’s cadre of current Stereotaxis platform and gives the campus’ physicians combined application of magnetic and mechanically robotic technologies. (See video at

“A traditional, manual ablation procedure can be challenging in difficult cases because it requires a very precise, manual orientation of a stiff catheter through the complex chambers of the heart. The new system creates a fully robotic solution to arrhythmias.  It allows for the seamless integration of stable and precise views of the inside of the heart during the ablation procedure, further enhancing the procedure’s safety and efficacy.” said William H. Spear MD, a cardiologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center, specializing in electrophysiology.

“The technology that this latest system provides us represents a major step toward making robotics the standard of care. It moves us one step closer toward the goal of exceeding the precision of the human hand,” Dr. Spear said. 

More than five million people in the United States have arrhythmias.  These irregular heartbeats make them five times to seven times more likely to suffer a stroke or sustain more permanent damage to the heart.  The growing number of complex procedures required to treat these patients is driving the need for new technologies that enable physicians to treat previously unreachable or difficult-to-reach areas of the heart safely and confidently.

Physicians use sophisticated computer software to draw a highly detailed, 3D map of the diseased heart tissue responsible fothe arrhythmias, or irregular beats, and drive powerful magnets positioned near the patient.  The magnets guide a soft catheter, which has a magnetic tip, gently through the patient’s heart anatomy.  The physician operates the technology from a separate room or workstation, using the magnets to control the catheter.

Through the catheter, the physicians can direct “energy” to the area of the heart muscle causing the irregular heartbeat. This applied energy cuts off the electrical pathway of the abnormal rhythm inside the heart – a process known as “ablation.”

The non-surgical treatment of arrhythmias is performed in a hospital’s electrophysiology laboratory where interventional cardiologists can insert a catheter into a patient’s heart, navigate it to a specific location within the heart’s anatomy, and use a machine to direct energy to the location of the heart muscle causing arrhythmia.

“Every day, new technology is paving the way for better outcomes and improved quality of life for our heart patients,” said Gina Roache, executive director of the medical center’s Heart and Vascular Institute.  “At Christ Medical Center, we strive continuously to achieve higher standards of excellence in the care of our patients and are committed to providing the most state-of-the-art tools to allow our physicians to find and treat heart problems quickly, efficiently and safely, using less invasive methods.”

More information about Advocate Christ Medical Center’s application of the Steretaxis™ technology is available at

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About Advocate Christ Medical Center
Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, which is one of the nation’s leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 694-bed, premier teaching institution with more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center is a leader in health care and one of the major referral hospitals in the Midwest in a number of specialties, including cardiovascular services, heart and kidney transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics and women’s health. The hospital also has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois providing emergency care for more than 90,000 patient visits annually and is a leader in breakthrough technologies, including eICU® (electronic intensive care unit) monitoring, robotic da Vinci Surgery System® and CyberKnife® Radiosurgery.  In both 2012 and 2013, the medical center was named to the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals®, while U.S. News & World Report ranked the medical center among the nation’s leading providers for cardiology and heart surgery and for geriatric medicine and ranked it fourth overall among hospitals in the state of Illinois. The hospital is also recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Magnet Center. Magnet status represents the highest honor in the nursing profession. To obtain more information or to visit our newsroom, log on to:

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