October 06, 1999
Steven L. Wilson
Exec. Vice President & CEO
Computer Motion, Inc.
805-968-9600, ext. 155
Corporate Relations Manager
Computer Motion, Inc.
805-968-9600, ext. 179
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642
World's first closed-chest beating heart bypass surgery successfully performed
Computer Motion and London Health Sciences Center partner to pioneer new robotically assisted minimally invasive cardiac surgery to minimize operative risks and patient trauma
(SANTA BARBARA, California) Computer Motion, Inc. (Nasdaq: RBOT), the world leader in medical robotics, announced today that the successful completion of the world's first endoscopic beating heart coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) was performed at the London Health Sciences Center (London, Ontario). Douglas Boyd, MD, BSc, FRCS(C), Director, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Program of the London Health Sciences Center, and Alan Menkis, MD, FRCS(C), Professor of Cardiac Surgery of the University of Western Ontario, used Computer Motion's ZEUS(tm) Robotic Surgical System to perform the endoscopic beating heart bypass operation, which eliminates the two greatest sources of patient trauma associated with open heart surgery: the large incision and the heart lung machine.
In conventional open heart surgery, the surgeon uses a 12-15 inch chest incision to access the heart and a heart lung machine to administer cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) to the patient while the heart is stopped. Studies show that eliminating CPB may reduce the risk of stroke and neurological complications associated with a conventional stopped heart approach. Additionally, the pain and trauma inflicted upon a patient is directly affected by the size of the surgical incision. With a closed-chest beating heart approach, the surgeon can perform the operation through a minimal incision and the heart continues to beat during surgery, supplying the body with oxygenated blood.
Dr. Menkis stated, "It is obvious that the patients are the real beneficiaries of this new minimally invasive cardiac procedure. We were able to discharge the 60-year-old male patient just 4 days after surgery with minimal pain and scarring. He is already back to work on his dairy farm tending to his cows.
Dr. Boyd stated, "The ZEUS System is the key to enabling an endoscopic beating heart procedure. When using a stabilizer to immobilize the heart, the surgeon must contend with a 2 to 5 mm variance in the movement of the heart, making it challenging to perform delicate suturing. With ZEUS, I can perform the coronary graft with the same level of precision and confidence that I would have working on an arrested heart. When working with the constraints of a very tight space in the chest cavity, ZEUS provides the surgeon consistent stability and precision for a broad range of manipulations. The compact system design also allows for the surgical assistant to work at the operating table to position the graft and to ensure a clear operative field of view."
"London Health is a world leading pioneer in minimally invasive cardiac surgery with a very strong record in beating heart procedures," said Yulun Wang, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Computer Motion. "They have successfully integrated our three cornerstone technologies-the AESOP® robotic system, HERMES(tm) Control Center and ZEUS-into their cardiac program to create a true robotic center of excellence for patients," added Dr. Wang.
"Computer Motion believes that endoscopic beating heart bypass surgery will become common place within the next several years," stated Robert W. Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion. "It begins with clinical partnerships, like with London Health, who share our mission to develop a procedure that combines the benefits of a reduced surgical incision and the avoidance of CPB. The endoscopic beating heart operation at London Health is proof that we can simultaneously eliminate the two most negative aspects of cardiovascular surgery. This successful case represents a major step forward for Computer Motion, as well as the field of cardiovascular surgery," Mr. Duggan said.
Computer Motion's ZEUS Robotic Surgical System consists of three interactive robotic arms placed at the operating table, a computer controller and an ergonomic surgeon console. One robotic arm is used to position the endoscope (a special, slender camera) to provide visualization of the operative site while the other two robotic arms manipulate surgical instruments under the surgeon's direct control. While seated at the console, the surgeon can view the operative site in either 3-D or 2-D, depending on their preference. The surgeon controls the movements of the endoscope with simple spoken commands. Movements of the surgical instruments are controlled via handles that resemble conventional surgical instruments. The movements of the instrument handles are scaled and tremor is filtered such that the surgeon will be able to perform fully endoscopic, minimally invasive microsurgery.
Computer Motion is creating the cornerstone technologies and products for tomorrow's Intelligent Operating Room(tm). The company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary computer-enhanced and robotic surgical systems which enhance surgeons' capabilities, improve outcomes and reduce costs. In addition to the ZEUS System, Computer Motion markets the AESOP® 3000, a voice-controlled endoscope positioning system, and the HERMES(tm) Control Center, a centralized system which enables the surgeon to voice control a network of "smart" medical devices. The ZEUS System is currently under an FDA-approved investigational device exemption and is CE Marked for commercial sale in Europe. ZEUS is being co-marketed by Computer Motion and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). The company's Internet Web site is www.ComputerMotion.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the company's business and products. Actual results may differ materially depending on a number of risk factors, including the risks of competition and competing technologies, duration or suspension of clinical studies, regulatory clearances and approvals, and physician, hospital and payor acceptance of the company's products. These factors and other risks inherent in the company's business are described from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K. The company undertakes no obligation to revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.