The medical director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Chandler Regional Medical Center has become the first doctor in the western U.S. to treat severely blocked coronary arteries with a new system that relies on centrifugal force to reduce calcium in the arteries.
Georges Y. Nseir, M.D. is now using the Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System (OA)S, the first and only technology approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severely calcified coronary arteries. An atherectomy is a minimally invasive method of removing blockages from arteries—essentially “Roto-Rootering” a vessel. A calcified artery can be more challenging for physicians to treat than an artery containing soft plaque because the calcium is more resistant to removal.
“This OAS device truly makes the work easier and faster for doctors and ultimately, safer for patients,” said Dr. Nseir, who has performed hundreds of atherectomies during his career and participated in the clinical trial that led to government approval of the OAS. “Before this system became available, it was more difficult to remove calcium from arteries. The old equipment was slow and inefficient when used to clean out calcium deposits. This new device has the capacity to treat severely calcified blockages in the arteries of the heart safely, which allows more people to be treated, maximizing the success of the procedure and improving long-term outcomes.”
Here is how the new system works: the equipment is a uniquely positioned 1.25-millimeter diamond-coated implement called a crown that sands away calcium in coronary arteries by increasing the rotation of the crown inside the artery. Removal or reduction of the calcium permits placement of a stent, a device that forces the vessel to stay open. “This system is revolutionizing treatment for patients with calcifications in their arteries,” said Dr. Nseir. Cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is the most common cause of death in the Western world.
“The OAS will put us on the cutting edge of technologies by having the latest approved equipment,” said Dr. Nseir. “Severely calcified blockages are becoming a common encounter in the cath lab with the growth of the aging population and the increase in the incidence of diabetes.”
In a clinical study, says the system’s manufacturer, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI), the OAS technology produced clinical outcomes that exceeded expectations of safety and effectiveness by a significant margin.