Two cardiac centres in China to enable Endo-ACAB using Computer Motion's robot technology

Santa Barbara 07 October 2002China's two leading cardiac centres have successfully performed the Endoscopic Atraumatic Coronary Artery Bypass (Endo-ACAB) procedure. The procedure, co-developed by Computer Motion and renowned cardiac surgeons around the world, is enabled by the company's AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner and Computer Motion's procedure kit. Beijing Fu Wai Cardiovascular Hospital's three-month start-up phase has been a great success. Shanghai Medical University affiliated Zhong San Hospital has also successfully completed its initial cases, with excellent results.


Dr. Sheng Shou Hu, recently appointed president of Fu Wai Hospital and the former Chief of Cardiac Surgery, led the team that performed the successful Endo-ACAB procedures. The hospital has also initiated a hybrid programme that combines cardiac surgery with cardiology procedures involving the use of stents. This initial programme has resulted in the completion of 35 cases this year.

The overall cardiac market potential in China is extremely large. Only 40.000 cardiac procedures are done annually with over 4 million waiting for heart treatment according to Mayo Clinic estimates. This approach has the potential to be the procedure of choice due to greatly reduced hospital stay time, where the number of hospital beds and cardiac clinics are insufficient to meet demand. The Endo-ACAB procedure significantly reduces hospital stay time, thus freeing up much needed hospital beds for incoming patients. Fu Wai Hospital is the major cardiac hospital in China, performing over 4000 cardiac cases annually.

Dr. Qiang Zhao of Zhong San Hospital reported that he plans to expand his series of Endo-ACAB procedures in the coming months. Zhong San Hospital includes a cardiac surgery research institution that receives local and central government funding for research in heart surgery.

Dr. Zhao commented: "I have found the procedure to be an excellent minimally invasive treatment for heart disease patients requiring a left internal mammary artery to left anterior descending coronary artery bypass graft. The addition of AESOP provides me with the image steadiness to perform the procedure safely and comfortably. This graft is common to over 95 percent of cardiac bypass surgeries and may well form the basis of a hybrid procedure involving a combination of endoscopic bypass surgery and the use of stents." Dr. Zhao personally performs over 350 Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) procedures per year.

Bob Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion, stated: "The market opportunity in China is very important to our company. We are pleased to be taking these first promising steps in this large and rapidly growing market. The company has a well established market position in China and has recently celebrated its second anniversary there. We have regulatory clearance for AESOP and SOCRATES and anticipate clearance for ZEUS, soon. Computer Motion is very proud of the success being generated by our sales, clinical support and surgeon teams, led by the company's Ms. Pei-Jin Ruan and Ms. Linda Zhang. The success we are experiencing with the Endo-ACAB in China will prove to be of great benefit to China's patients, surgeons, and hospitals."

The Endo-ACAB is a minimally invasive beating heart bypass procedure. Five millimeter ports are used in this operation instead of the traditional 12-15 inch sternotomy approach through the patient's breastbone. The endoscopic approach minimises patient trauma and scarring, and improves recovery times dramatically. Computer Motion's AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner is the only product on the market that enables the Endo-ACAB procedure. Over 650 AESOP systems are currently in use in the United States and around the world. Both surgeons in China look forward to incorporating Computer Motion's SOCRATES for telecollaboration, as they further incorporate the Endo-ACAB into their practice.

Technical details about the new robotically assisted Endo-ACAB procedure using Computer Motion's AESOP and SOCRATES Robotic Systems are available in the VMW January 2002 article Computer-aided endoscopic cardiac procedure promoted live on the Internet to surgeons worldwide.

Leslie Versweyveld

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