Although your heart beats for a lifetime, it's a surprisingly delicate muscle. Made up of a network of arteries, veins and small chambers, the heart's thin walls can be damaged by even the slightest touch. Stereotaxis robotic navigation technology is a major innovation in treating this delicate organ.
At Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, doctors use stereotaxis technology to guide extremely soft and flexible catheters into your beating heart, with less risk of serious complications and less radiation from the X-rays used to visualize the procedure. By combining the benefits of precise, computer-aided magnetic guidance with catheters too soft to push through heart tissue, our doctors can reach remote areas of the heart that have been difficult, if not impossible, to access before.
Potential benefits of stereotaxis include:
- 44 percent less exposure to X-ray radiation due to shorter procedure times.
- 28 times less risk of major cardiac adverse events.
- Reduced likelihood of referral to more invasive open-heart surgical procedures.
- More readily available treatment of highly complex conditions, such as atrial arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardias and congenital heart disease.
At Mills-Peninsula, stereotaxis procedures are performed in a room built specifically for this purpose. Large video monitors let the physician and care team view every step of the process and guide the action of the magnets positioned on either side of your body. These magnets gently pull the soft catheters into place so your doctor can treat your heart. For arrhythmias, this typically involves using radiofrequency energy to destroy small areas of heart tissue where abnormal heartbeats may cause an arrhythmia to start. For your comfort, the procedure is performed while you are under general anesthesia. Patients typically spend 24 hours or less in the hospital and can resume most normal activities within a few days.