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LHSC announces a Cardiac Surgery World First



For Immediate Release:

January 24, 2011


complicated surgery simplified by new device

LONDON, Ontario - Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are the first in the world to use a new implantable surgical device that promises to revolutionize aortic valve bypass surgery.

On November 3, 2010, LHSC’s cardiac surgery team led by Drs. Bob Kiaii and Linrui Guo successfully performed an aortic valve bypass using a specialized Aortic Valve Bypass (AVB) device. This was done to treat a patient with critical aortic stenosis who could not have conventional treatments due to his underlying high risk condition. “There were no options left for the patient. He was at a point where no more than 30% of his blood was being pumped out of his heart. Not only was he severely fatigued and weakened, but he was at a high risk for having a stroke,” explains Dr. Kiaii, chair/chief of the cardiac surgery team.

The aortic valve bypass using the Correx AVB device promises to reduce the complexity of this very difficult surgery. It involves a specialized delivery mechanism that renders the surgery almost bloodless and it eliminates the need to stop the heart and put the patient on a heart-lung bypass machine. “The Correx AVB device makes aortic valve bypass surgery much safer for the patient and their recovery time is faster. The added benefit is that it is also an easier surgery for cardiac surgeons to perform, which should increase treatment options for patients with critical aortic stenosis,” says Dr. Guo, cardiac surgeon.

Gunars Liepins, 75, from London, Ontario, is the first person in the world to undergo this procedure using the AVB device. He has recuperated from his surgery and is doing well. “Before the surgery, I could barely do five minutes on the treadmill and I was tired constantly. Right after the surgery, I felt better. Now, I am up to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and I am able to go out with my wife on outings,” says Mr. Liepins.

LHSC’s CSTAR program helped test and validate the device made by Correx Inc. of Waltham, MA. Surgeons from LHSC, as well as from Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and Foothills Medical Centre in Alberta were trained at CSTAR’s facilities. In addition, leading heart surgeons from Europe will soon be coming to CSTAR to learn how to perform this surgery and implant the device in patients with critical aortic stenosis.

LHSC’s President and CEO, Bonnie Adamson congratulated the LHSC staff and surgeons. “This is a great example of the ongoing and proud tradition of medical firsts at LHSC.”


About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

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For media inquiries contact:
Stephan Beckhoff
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685


Medical Breakthroughs at LHSC

On November 3, 2010, LHSC’s cardiac surgery team led by Drs. Bob Kiaii and Linrui Guo successfully performed an aortic valve bypass using a Correx Aortic Valve Bypass device.

This medical breakthrough is just the latest in LHSC’s long history of not only delivering top-quality care, but innovating the way that care is delivered.

Since 2000, LHSC’s has contributed to the following innovations to cardiac care:


LHSC is the first in North America to implant an insertable cardiac monitor that offers long-term and continuous monitoring for atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia.

LHSC performs the world’s first robotically-assisted intestinal bypass surgery for a patient with superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome, also known as Wilkie’s syndrome, using the da Vinci® robot.


Canada’s first totally endoscopic closed-chest robotic coronary artery bypass surgery on a patient’s beating heart is performed at LHSC


An LHSC team is one of two independent Canadian teams to first use new electroanatomical mapping technology to perform a pulmonary vein ablation for atrial fibrillation


World’s first robotic-assisted left atrial appendage ligation to reduce the chance of clot formation and stroke in high risk patients with atrial fibrillation is performed at LHSC

Canada’s first minimally invasive robotic-assisted double bypass surgery is performed at LHSC


A CSTAR team is the first in North America to complete two different procedures to clear blocked arteries, minimally invasive robotic-assisted heart bypass surgery and angioplasty with stenting, at the same time in the operating room

In a North American first, an interdisciplinary team successfully removes a renal artery aneurysm with the help of a da Vinci surgical robot


LHSC surgeons are the first in Canada to use a four-armed da Vinci robot to complete a single coronary artery bypass graft


An LHSC study determines that patients with congestive heart failure have an improved quality of life with a new pacemaker that works on both sides of the heart

LHSC cardiologists complete a left atrial appendage occlusion, a new procedure for stroke prevention that closes the area of the heart where the majority of blood clots form


LHSC's surgical team performs the first minimally invasive robotic-assisted mitral valve heart surgery in Canada

LHSC counts its medical breakthroughs as among its proudest achievements. For a complete listing visit:

Aortic Valve Bypass Device

What is an Aortic Valve Bypass device?

The Aortic Valve Bypass (AVB) device is a surgical kit complete with a delivery system and an implantable device to perform aortic valve bypass surgery. This kit will allow cardiothoracic surgeons to quickly and easily perform the most difficult aspects of an aortic valve bypass procedure for patients who have critical aortic stenosis. It was developed by Correx Inc. from Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.

What is aortic stenosis?

AS is a heart disease that is caused by incomplete opening of the Aortic valve and is the most common reason for heart valve surgery. This results in poor blood flow from the heart, which left untreated, may cause severe strokes in the patient and other life threatening ailments. Aortic Stenosis is a disease of ageing and is becoming more common as the population ages.

Patients diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis are high risk and are not offered conventional aortic valve replacement given the risks associated with the procedure. These patients have a poor prognosis with only 55% survival at one year.

What is the aortic valve bypass surgery?

Aortic Valve Bypass is not a new procedure, but it is a complex and difficult surgery to perform. A small number of surgeons have performed over 1,000 AVB operations over the past 35 years to treat patients with high-risk, no-option critical aortic stenosis.

What are the advantages of the Correx Aortic Valve Bypass device?

Using the Correx AVB implements allows cardiac surgeons to perform the operation on a beating-heart, eliminating the need for cardiopulmonary bypass, with virtually no blood loss.

About Correx Inc.

Founded in 2004, Correx, Inc. is a medical device company focused on novel approaches to treat critical aortic stenosis. The Company is commercializing delivery instrumentation and implants to allow cardiothoracic surgeons to perform Aortic Valve Bypass. Learn more at www.correxinc.com.


CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics) is a collaborative research and education program of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), Lawson Health Research Institute, and the University of Western Ontario (Western), all located in London, Ontario, Canada.

CSTAR’s closes the gap between medical device innovation and clinical implementation through research, validation and simulation training. In doing so, health care teams and patients have improved access to leading-edge, rigorously tested medical device technologies that are safely and competently applied in delivering patient care.

Correx Inc. chose CSTAR because it offers one-stop access to world-class clinical expertise and resources necessary to accelerate validation, training and time-to- global market for their Aortic Valve Bypass device. In 2010, CSTAR provided the first training and validation programs, involving Correx’s Aortic Valve Bypass device, for cardiothoracic surgeons from across Canada.

CSTAR occupies 3 floors (22,000 sq. ft.) within the Lindros Legacy Research Building at LHSC’s University Hospital. CSTAR provides access to world-class facilities that support research, validation and simulation training involving emergent medical device technologies.

CSTAR is an Accredited Education Institute of the American College of Surgeons and collaborates with Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry to develop and deliver team-based, simulation programming.