At the forefront of medical technology

The WATCHMAN device, used at The Valley Hospital, works as a filter to seal the opening of the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA). It prevents the blood clots that form in the LAA from breaking down and reaching the brain.

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New Jersey hospitals use the latest medical device technologies to treat patients.

Medical technology has changed the face of healthcare. From cardiac wearable devices to surgical robots, the new technology has helped doctors reduce morbidity and mortality, as well as improve patients’ quality of life.

Here is a look at three New Jersey health systems that have successfully implemented cutting-edge medicaltechnology.

In 2021, the global surgical robot market was valued at $ 3.6 billion. According to Grandview Research, based in San Francisco, it is projected to expand at an annual growth rate of 19.3% from 2022 to 2030. A shortage of doctors and surgeons and the growing adoption of automated tools used for surgical interventions are among the main factors driving the market.

At Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, the robotic program has taken off over the past decade.

“Our robotic usand it’s in the top 90 percentile of the rest of the country, ”says David A. Laskow, MD, chair of the department of surgery.

Laskow adds that nearly all general surgeons have significant experience using the DaVinci robot currently being implemented.and for hepatic resection, distal pancreatomy and robotic splenectomy and all gastric sleeves for bariatric surgery.

One of the biggest costs to the hospital is length of stay, according to Laskow.

“Because we to be able to make these robotic procedures so effeffectively and efficiently, the length of stay between an open case (traditional surgery) and robotic surgery is dramatically different. As your length of stay decreases, you will recoup the costs, “says Laskow.

New technologies are also being used in St. Peter’s to help doctors fight sleep apnea and bowel and urinary incontinence.

Medtronic’s InterStim technology provides electrical stimulation to the sacral nerves in the pelvic area, restoring brain and gut communication and ultimately reducing symptomsoms.

As an alternative to traditional CPAP (continuous positive pressure therapy) for patients with sleep apnea, St. Peter’s physicians have implemented an implantable upper airway stimulation device from Inspire Medical Systems, Inc.stabilizes a patient’s airways while they sleep to prevent obstruction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States.

Traditionally, patients with spots on the lung had to undergo a procedure called a needle biopsy whereby a radiologist threaded a needle through the chest wall and into the lung to obtain a tissue sample for biopsy.

Charles Shieh, MD, a chest surgeon, and medical director of lung cancer at Inspira Health, says many of the spots are in places that aren’t amenable to a needle biopsy.

At Inspira Health, clinicians used Au’s Monarch bronchoscopy platform, based in Redwood City, Californiaris Health, Inc., from 2021.

Shieh says robotic navigation bronchoscopy allows doctors to get a biopsy from the inside out through the airway rather than from the outside through the skin.

“Look down into the airways or trachea and into smaller dimensions airways. Traditional bronchoscopy isn’t guided, which means the doctor doesn’t know where it is in the lung. However, with a navigation bronchoscopy using the Monarch platform, when you do the procedure, you know exactly where you are in the chest.. “

Additionally, Shieh says the technology allows the surgeon to both diagnose and follow any necessary treatments, such as resection (surgical removal).

“You can think of this technology as a one-stop shop. If the patient enters with the lung cancer, I will be able to diagnose the patient and treat the patient, ”he says.

Another benefit, Shieh says, is that patients don’t have to travel to a large medical center to benefit from the technology: “They can come to their local hospital here in. South Jersey at Inspira, and we are able to perform all these functions that previously only large centers could perform ”.

Valley Hospital cardiologists in Ridgewood have a new tool in their armory for treating atrial fibrillation (Afib), one of the mmost common heart conditions.

“There has been a great deal of interest in identifying high-risk patients with atrial fibrillation and providing them with treatment options that reduce their likelihood of stroke,” says Suneet Mittal, MD, director, electrophysiology, associate. chief medical director of cardiology, Snyder AF Center, director of cardiac research at Valley Hospital.

Mittal points out that while blood thinners are commonly used to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart, they can lead to bleeding if used. for a long time.

He added that one of the main reasons people develop stroke with Afib is that they develop a blood clot in the heart that can break off and enter the brain, settle there, and cause a stroke.

As an alternative to bloodd diluents for patients with atrial fibrillation at high risk of bleeding, Mittal and his colleagues turned to Boston Scientific’s WATCHMAN device and Abbott’s Amplatzer Amulet.

“The Watchman and Amulet devices work on the principle essentially placing a filter to seal the opening of the left atrial appendix (LAA), “says Mittal.” These devices prevent the blood clots that form in the LAA from rupturing and going to the brain and causing a stroke. “

Mittal says studies show that if these devices can be successfully implanted in patients, so the risk of stroke is much lower than would have been expected had they not been on an anticoagulant.

Implantable devices usually carry an initial cost, compared to blood thinnersThere is a daily cost over an extended period of time, according to Mittal.

“The biggest cost is the risk of morbidity. If you leave someone disabled due to a stroke, it can cause many direct and indirect costs to our society. “

Mittal says it’s important to educate patients who have atrial fibrillation that they have options when it comes to treatment.

“Anticoagulants will work the vast majority of patients. For those who have problems with a blood thinner, they should know that more options are available. “

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