MARS Across the Hudson: Mid-Atlantic Radial Symposium is May 3

Dr. Jordan Safirstein and his Google Glass

Dr. Jordan Safirstein and his Google Glass

If you are an interventional cardiologist or work in a cath lab where the transradial approach is being utilized, and you live anywhere near New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania, you might want to consider a day trip to Morristown, New Jersey on May 3. This trip won’t cost you anything, because the Mid-Atlantic Radial Symposium (MARS) is free; and yes, there still is such a thing as a free lunch. (For those who want to come in the day before, the Westin Governor Morris is offering a special room rate.)

Oh yes: you’ll also be able to receive 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits. Continue reading

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Filed under Meetings & Conferences, Transradial Approach

Spring Training: Transradial Style

Baseball and U.S. mapNo less than four U.S. training courses in Transradial Angioplasty have just been announced for this Spring (and, yes, Spring is actually going to come after this very long winter). And all of these training opportunities are being offered at no cost.

The courses span the length and breadth of the United States. From East to West they are:

1. The Mid-Atlantic Radial Symposium 2014, or MARS 2014, will be held at the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey on Saturday, May 3. This is the third iteration of this course, organized by Jordan Safirstein, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and is the only one of the four courses that offers CME accreditation, specifically 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, as well as live case demonstrations. Continue reading

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Filed under Meetings & Conferences, Transradial Approach

Angioplasty Arrives in the Outback: First Stent Placed in Northern Territory

Northern Territory - AustraliaIt’s been over 35 years since the first angioplasty was performed in Zurich by Dr. Andreas Gruentzig, but it was just yesterday that this minimally invasive procedure arrived in Australia’s Northern Territory.

As reported today by Sky News, Dr. Marcus Ilton, chief cardiologist at Royal Darwin Hospital, performed the first angioplasty and stent implantation ever done in the NT. Continue reading

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Filed under Global Trends, Media Coverage, Stent

Ask George W. Bush a Question About His Stent…or Anything Else

Ask Bush a QuestionWant to ask George W. Bush a question about his stent…or anything else? Click here!

Six months ago, former President Bush received an angioplasty and stent. The stent was recommended by Bush’s doctors to open a blockage in one of his coronary arteries, found during his annual physical exam. EKG changes were seen on his stress test, a CT angiogram was performed and a blockage seen. He was rushed off to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas where Dr. Tony Das performed a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, a.k.a. angioplasty). A single stent was inserted in the newly opened vessel. Continue reading

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Filed under Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Celebrity Patients, Media Coverage, Meetings & Conferences, Stent

50 Years Ago Today Charles Dotter Invented Angioplasty

Charles Dotter. MD

Charles Dotter. MD

It was 50 years ago today that Dr. Charles T. Dotter, a radiologist in Portland, Oregon, performed the first angioplasty. But it wasn’t in the heart; it was in the leg.

An 82-year-old woman was suffering from great pain in her left foot because of blocked circulation in her leg. Her toes had become gangrenous and there was an non-healing ulcer. Amputation was recommended by the physicians at Oregon Health Sciences University, but the woman refused.

Luckily, the surgeon in charge of the case knew of Dr. Dotter’s interest in the possibility of using a catheter to open a blocked artery. Continue reading

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Filed under Angiograms, History, Imaging, Innovators, Video

Another Viewpoint on Renal Denervation and SYMPLICITY HTN-3 from Dr. Darrel Francis

Symplicity Renal Denervation System

Symplicity Renal Denervation System

Is the failure of the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial to meet its efficacy endpoint the “end of the road” for renal denervation? Will renal denervation now land on the heap of failed technologies? I don’t think so, and Dr. Darrel Francis, the cardiologist who famously predicted that SYMPLICITY HTN-3 would not meet its endpoint, agrees.

In fact Dr. Francis told Angioplasty.Org that it would be a “grave error” if the FDA withheld renal denervation from the American people, based on this news!

OK. Do I have your attention? Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Global Trends, High Blood Pressure, Media Coverage

Surgery, Stents and Sports: “Let’s Go to the Videotape!”

A recent New York Times article delves into a topic not often discussed: the fact that some surgeons are more skilled than others. “A Vital Measure: Your Surgeon’s Skill” by Dr. Pauline W. Chen is a fascinating look at a taboo topic. Dr. Chen describes an innovative program where a group of expert surgeons judges how skilled a particular colleague is by looking at a close-up videotape of how he or she works with their hands, utilizes equipment, and so on. How can you tell if a surgeon is on his game? As famed sports commentator Warner Wolf would say in his catch-phrase, “Let’s Go to the Videotape!”

Video control room

Video control room in an early angioplasty live demonstration course

However, watching procedures on video is nothing new to me, or to any member of the interventional cardiology community. The field of angioplasty started on Day One with live demonstration courses where procedures were performed utilizing live TV broadcasts (see my video at the bottom of this post). I designed and directed many of these early courses and we focused cameras on the operator’s hands, very similar to the videos in Dr. Chen’s article. And just last week at the TCT 2013 Annual Symposium, thousands of cardiologists watched the hands of their colleagues in HD video on a 100 foot screen, being broadcast from Germany, or South Korea, or New York. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Media Coverage, Meetings & Conferences, Video