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Artery Clearing Procedure Safer at St. Helena with Angioslide Embolic Capture Device


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Peggy Dixon, (707)-963-6545, 


Artery Clearing Procedure Safer at St. Helena with Angioslide Embolic Capture Device

ST. HELENA, Calif. – November 23, 2010 – St. Helena Hospital this month became one of the first hospitals in the western U.S. to employ a new technology that helps prevent potentially dangerous clots during artery-clearing angioplasty procedures.

Andreas Sakopoulos, MD, is among the first cardiac surgeons in the U.S. to use Angioslide’s Embolic Capture Device, which was FDA-approved in March for use in the U.S.

During angioplasty, a surgeon inserts a balloon in an artery to remove a blockage and restore blood flow to the heart or legs.

 “The process, however, can result in damage and split fragile diseased arteries causing debris to break off,” explained Angioslide company spokesman Todd Crandell. “The debris then washes downstream into the artery forming a clot. If the patient already has poor blood flow the resulting clot can lead to heart attack, stroke or amputation. Our device creates a kind of vacuum, allowing the surgeon to capture and contain the debris from the body much like a syringe plunger.”

Patient Safety Focus

Cutting edge cardiac surgery with a major focus on patient safety is nothing new to Dr. Sakopoulos and his colleagues John Jacobson, MD and Emmett Tetz, MD.

Over the course of a recent three-year clinical research project led by St. Helena Hospital cardiovascular surgeon Andreas Sakopoulos, MD, the surgeons performed 227 consecutive coronary artery bypass surgeries with no strokes using another groundbreaking device called a HEARTSTRING.

“Since 2004 we have been utilizing this tool on virtually all patients undergoing beating-heart coronary artery bypass operations with no strokes,” Dr. Sakopoulos says. Beating-heart surgeries are performed without the assistance of heart-lung machines. “Low stroke rates are found in the best heart surgery programs.”

About being an early adopter of new like the HEARTSTRING and Angioslide technologies, Dr. Sakopoulos noted: “There are many new fads that come and go in all aspects of our lives, including medicine. It is important to have the wisdom to understand which are true advances and adopt them. These clearly offer benefits to our patients.”


About St. Helena Hospital: With its many innovative wellness programs and other top quality healthcare services, including the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center and Coon Joint Replacement Institute, St. Helena Hospital, situated in the heart of the Napa Valley, is one of the nation’s premier healthcare destinations. The hospital serves Napa, Lake, Solano, Sonoma and Mendocino counties with cardiovascular, cancer, emergency, medical, surgical and behavioral health care.