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Published on March 21, 2011

Avera Heart Hospital Offers Patients Leading-Edge Vascular Capabilities

New Robotic System Gives Physicians Detailed Images to Help Speed Diagnosis and Treatment


  • Artis zeego® Robotic Technology
  • Image 360 Degrees of a Patient’s Anatomy
  • More Precise for Better Outcomes

Avera Heart Hospital announces the opening of a new state-of-the-art hybrid robotic vascular lab, and the installation of the new Artis zeego® robotic technology system (watch the video) from Siemens Healthcare. This is only lab of its type in the region. The robot provides unmatched positioning flexibility to enable the most advanced images and techniques.

“We are excited to be the first in the region to offer this type of technology. Ultimately patients will be the ones that benefit,” said Dr. Tommy Reynolds, vascular surgeon with North Central Heart Institute.

The new robotic vascular lab will offer physicians the ability to image 360 degrees of a patient’s anatomy in the catheterization lab. In the past, catheterization labs have only offered the ability to give visuals on a single or bi-plane axis and 180 degree visual capabilities. The lab also serves as a hybrid room, and when less-invasive options are not possible, can be used as a full surgical suite with x-ray capabilities.

“This is a large step forward in vascular medicine.  In the past it was sometimes difficult to obtain the visuals we needed especially with complex cases. This new robotic lab will help us to be more precise so that patient’s can experience the best outcomes and the latest treatment options,” said Dr. Mike Bacharach, vascular specialist, with North Central Heart Institute.

In the vascular lab, instead of open surgery, patients are injected with an iodine dye and images are obtained through x-ray. The arteries and veins are accessed through the femoral artery in the leg, or the radial artery in the wrist. Thin flexible tubes called catheters are inserted to allow access to the arteries. Then physicians insert small wires via the catheter to insert stents or obtain images.

Artis zeego’s flexibility is derived from the use of the latest in robotic technologies allowing virtually unrestricted freedom of movement. This facilitates positioning that enables physicians to perform the most complex clinical cases, and the system conforms to the clinical needs of the patient as well as the ergonomic needs of the clinician.

In addition to addressing these needs, Artis zeego’s robotic-assisted positioning enables the 3D-visualization of larger sections of anatomy. This provides doctors with additional information for increased diagnostic confidence while offering the potential to reduce procedural radiation dose.

The Avera Heart Hospital is the region's first and only hospital dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The hospital is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Avera Heart Hospital is one of the Top 50 hospitals in the nations for cardiovascular care according to Thomson Reuters. By focusing on the nation's number one killer, patients receive the benefits of advanced technology and personalized services focused on their individual needs. The hospital is a cooperative venture between Avera McKennan and North Central Heart Institute.