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Robotic heart cath lab first in New York State


For people suffering from a severe cardiac episode, such as a heart attack, time is muscle! The faster patients can get access to life-saving interventions, the greater the chances of survival and maximum recovery with minimal heart damage.

Interventional Cardiologists at Staten Island University Hospital are now using an advanced robotic digital X-ray imaging system, Discovery* IGS 730 image guidance system from GE Healthcare, to see extremely detailed, real-time images of patient's cardiac anatomy during procedures that require exact precision.

Treatments for cardiac disease are turning increasingly toward minimally invasive procedures that help physician's complete treatments that require both outstanding interventional imaging and open surgery to be performed in one room. The GE Discovery unit uses GPS technology. By touching a few buttons, a doctor can move it to the table to take pictures of the patient's anatomy, and then move it completely out of the way, allowing room to position physicians, nurses, technologists, anesthesiologists and other personnel optimally for surgery, with unobstructed access to the patient.

On May 14, James Malpeso, MD, director, Interventional Cardiology treated his first patient on the new Discovery unit. 85-year-old Josephine Bellini was recently experienced problems breathing during short walks which caused her alarm. Having received three stents since 2006, she knew the warning signs and followed up with Dr. Malpeso who she explained, "always takes care of her stents." Dr. Malpeso quickly brought Bellini back to The Heart Institute at Staten Island University Hospital where they repaired scar tissue that had formed in one her arteries.

Bellini noticed she instantly felt better saying she, "actually felt energetic." What she didn't notice, the lower amount of radiation necessary to deliver high-quality images to the cardiologist, another added benefit to the patient.

"These new system offer a number of benefits to patient, said James Lafferty, MD, Chair of Cardiology. "This imaging unit increases safety in many ways: Higher image quality for the clinicians to treat vessels. It also offers lower radiation exposure to the patient and the staff; an initiative Northwell has implemented back in 2012 by rolling out low-dose diagnostic tools across its system of hospitals."

Unlike tradition interventional systems, the Discovery IGS 730 is neither floor nor ceiling mounting, the system provides optimum working flexibility while helping to ensure aseptic conditions during surgery, which accommodates a full range of procedures, from open surgery, to minimally invasive endovascular techniques, to complex procedures that include both open surgical and endovascular components.

"Minimally invasive heart and vascular procedures are growing with the benefits of reducing patient risk and shortening hospital stays," said Dr. Lafferty. "These procedures require powerful imaging to help the doctor guide the treatment device to exactly the right location."

The new addition provides advanced imaging capabilities with excellent precision, safety, and complete workspace freedom to adapt to all cardiovascular procedures. This leading-edge technology helps our cardiologists diagnose and treat all patients, even the most challenging ones, safely, and efficiently, with the best possible image quality.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Jillian O'Hara
[email protected]

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