Gifts in support of technology mark another first for the MUSC Heart & Vascular Center

Leslie Brady
August 16, 2019
Dr. Arasi Maran with the Robotic Vascular Interventional System.
Dr. Arasi Maran with the Robotic Vascular Interventional System.

Gifts made to the Heart & Vascular Fund helped launch the first robotic vascular program in South Carolina at MUSC Heart & Vascular Center. This exciting innovation, where high tech still means high touch, delivers significant benefits to both patients, their physician, and the hospital. Today, many procedures that were once highly invasive are now being performed via minimally invasive techniques, with the added benefit of robotic precision and radiation protection.

“The generous and heartfelt support received from the Heart & Vascular Center Advisory Board members and friends is truly remarkable. Committing to patients and families first remains a top priority and our supporters help us achieve excellence and we remain most grateful,” said Heart & Vascular Integrated Center of Clinical Excellence (ICCE) Chief Thomas Di Salvo, M.D.

“Through the generous support of the MUSC Heart & Vascular Center Advisory Board and additional donors, we have the opportunity to be at the forefront of robotic vascular interventions. This will provide tremendous benefits for the state of South Carolina and our patients and is a great example of how MUSC is positioned to lead health care discovery in the years to come,” said Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery Ravi Veeraswamy, M.D.

Since the introduction of intervention 40 years ago, there has been an astonishing amount of advancement in the technology and devices used in the procedure, however the way the procedure is performed has remained virtually unchanged. Now, robotics has the potential to overcome some of the current limitations of the traditional manual approach to vascular interventions. When patients undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as a heart catheterization, they will experience a reduction of radiation, fluoroscopy, and contrast. This provides the patient with a less invasive procedure, coupled with precision deployment of device balloons and stents.  

Physicians also benefit through a 95% reduction in radiation exposure. Physicians can now remove the heavy lead protection they used to wear during procedures, potentially reducing orthopedic strain and prolonging the longevity of their careers. Thirty three percent of interventional cardiologists miss work due to lower back issues as a result of wearing heavy lead protection. The robot also provides precise positioning in complex cases.

“We are proud to be national leaders in multiple sites across the country and are truly changing what’s possible in percutaneous coronary intervention (robotic PCI),” said MUSC Heart & Vascular Center interventional cardiologist Arasi Maran, M.D.

The MUSC Heart & Vascular Center is pleased to continue to be able to provide the latest, cutting-edge technology to their patients and families. Additionally, MUSC Health cares about cardiologist health and investing in technology to improve both patient and clinician care. The future of remote PCI, peripheral interventions, and remote stroke to treat patients who can’t receive top care, due to geographic location, is being paved right now.