Use of New Technology to Determine Blood Flow to Tissues

By December 6, 2008 Uncategorized

Leading Surgeons at St. Mary’s Medical Center Set New Standards for Surgical Procedures…
Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:23pm EDT

Leading Surgeons at St. Mary’s Medical Center Set New Standards for Surgical Procedures with Novadaq SPY(R) System

First Intra-Operative Fluorescent Imaging System to Be Used in
Cardiothoracic and Plastic Surgeries

SAN FRANCISCO–(Business Wire)–

St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) is one of the first hospitals on the West Coast to routinely use the SPY(R) Intra-operative Imaging System (SPY or SPY System) in cardiothoracic procedures and plastic reconstructive surgeries. The SPY System is the only FDA-approved, intra-operative imaging system that provides real-time fluorescent images while the patient is in the operating room. SPY images enable surgeons to optimize surgeries, eliminate guesswork and potentially avoid post-operative complications including repeat surgical operations.

The SPY System enables cardiac surgeons at St. Mary’s to simply and efficiently confirm proper placement of bypass grafts and visually assess their effectiveness during coronary artery bypass graft procedures. Similarly, physicians at SMMC’s Plastic Reconstructive Orthopedic Surgery Center performing reconstructive procedures use the SPY System to see the blood flow in co-joined vessels, micro-vasculature and related tissue perfusion in real-time. “We’re committed to adopting technology that allows us to provide the highest quality of cardiac care possible to our patients at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Eddie Tang, cardiac surgeon at SMMC. “The SPY System enables us to immediately visually assess the blood flow in our bypass grafts, confirm that we have performed the best possible bypass procedure, and potentially improve immediate and long-term outcomes for the patient.”

The SPY System combines the use of an infrared laser, high-speed imaging and a fluorescent imaging agent. The imaging agent, which is administered to patients intravenously during the procedure, emits light when stimulated by the infrared laser. During surgery, the
imaging agent lights up in blood flowing through the circulatory system while the camera captures the live images. If the images indicate that a graft might not be functioning optimally, the surgeon can immediately make revisions in the operating room. Traditionally, surgeons have been forced to make an educated guess about whether bypass grafts, co-joined arteries or veins are functioning properly. Cardiac surgeons have only been able to get images of the heart and vessels after the patient’s chest is closed and the patient has been removed from the operating room. Likewise, surgeons performing plastic reconstructive procedures have not been able to easily perform real-time imaging in the operating room. Use of the SPY System may reduce the number of patients that must return to the operating room for the revision of improperly functioning or potentially misplaced grafts.

According to Dr. Charles Lee, director of microsurgery at St.
Mary’s Medical Center, “The SPY technology allows plastic surgeons to
determine the blood supply to tissues we transplant to reconstruct the
human body. Specifically, in breast reconstruction and lymphedema
surgery, we use specific tissue types from the abdomen, buttocks or
thighs, and with the SPY we can determine which parts of these tissues
are best to use.”

SMMC now joins other prestigious institutions utilizing the SPY System, including the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Stanford University Medical Center and the Arizona Heart Institute.

About St. Mary’s Medical Center
Founded 150 years ago, St. Mary’s Medical Center is one of the
first hospitals in San Francisco. It’s the home of several medical
firsts including the nation’s first digital cardiac catheterization
laboratory, the first balloon angioplasty for coronary artery disease
and the first total hip replacement surgery. St. Mary’s continues to
adopt the latest advances in medical technology and practices with
specialized centers for plastic reconstructive orthopedic surgery, and
innovative cardiovascular, bariatric, oncologic and acute
rehabilitation services.
With more than 575 physicians and 1,100 employees, St. Mary’s
full-service acute care facility is committed to its mission to
deliver compassionate, high quality, affordable health services to the
communities it serves. St. Mary’s pioneering spirit endures and it is
well poised to continue its tradition of providing health and healing
for the San Francisco community.
For more information, please call (415) 668-1000 or visit

Jamie Fishler, 415-772-9907 ext. 117 (Media)
Copyright Business Wire 2008