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Medtronic Announces New, Improved Instrument to Lift and Hold the Beating Heart During CABG Surgery.

Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers

MINNEAPOLIS--(BW HealthWire)--May 6, 2002

Starfish(TM)2 Positioner Uses Suction to Give Surgeon

Easier Access to Target Arteries

There was a time when coronary artery bypass grafting coronary artery bypass graft
n. Abbr. CABG
A surgical procedure in which a section of vein or other conduit is grafted between the aorta and a coronary artery below the region of an obstruction in that artery.
 (CABG CABG coronary artery bypass graft.

coronary artery bypass graft

CABG Coronary artery bypass graft, see there
) surgery was always a heart-stopping event. That era faded further into the past today as Medtronic, Inc., (NYSE NYSE

See: New York Stock Exchange
Mountain Daylight Time

MDT (in the US and Canada) Mountain Daylight Time

MDT n abbr (US) (= mountain daylight time) →
) announced commercial release of new medical technology designed to make it easier and safer for surgeons to place grafts on the surface of the heart while it continues to beat.

The improved Medtronic Starfish(TM)2 heart positioner uses suction technology to gently lift and position the beating heart to expose coronary arteries Coronary arteries
The two main arteries that provide blood to the heart. The coronary arteries surround the heart like a crown, coming out of the aorta, arching down over the top of the heart, and dividing into two branches.
 on any of its surfaces. It then works in concert with the popular Medtronic Octopus(R)3 device, which holds a small area of cardiac surface tissue nearly stationary while the surgeon is suturing the bypass grafts to the arteries.

Surgery on the beating heart allows elimination of the external perfusion circuit - or "heart-lung machine heart-lung machine, device that maintains the circulation of the blood and the oxygen content of the body when connected with the arteriovenous system; it is also called the pump oxygenator. " - which pumps and oxygenates the blood for the body if the heart must be stopped for repairs. This perfusion circuit has been the "gold standard" for more than 30 years. However, because of its complexity and potential risks, an increasing number of surgeons are opting to avoid it when possible. "Off-pump" surgery is now estimated to make up about 25 percent of the 350,000 CABG procedures that take place in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  each year.

Improvements in the Starfish device are designed to increase flexibility in reaching all blood vessels Blood vessels

Tubular channels for blood transport, of which there are three principal types: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Only the larger arteries and veins in the body bear distinct names.
 on the surface of the heart while assuring visibility needed by the surgeon for proper revascularization. An added feature is a new in-line collection canister that simplifies setup for the operating-room staff.

"The new Starfish heart positioner constitutes an improvement in instrumentation to facilitate beating-heart techniques," said Dr. John Puskas, cardiac surgeon A cardiac surgeon is a surgeon who performs cardiac surgery - operative procedures on the heart and great vessels. Training
In the United States and Canada, a cardiac surgery residency typically comprises anywhere from six to nine years (or longer) of training to become
 at Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University, Atlanta. "My initial experience with the instrument leads me to believe it will simplify the procedure and make it easier for both patient and surgeon."

Bob Guezuraga, president of Medtronic Cardiac Surgery, noted that each advancement in Medtronic instrumentation for beating-heart surgery potentially enlarges the patient group that can share its benefits, which include reduced hospitalization and fewer blood transfusions. "Medtronic intends to be fully responsive to the cardiac surgeon, continually improving tools and technologies for beating-heart procedures. We're confident that the improvements in Starfish2 will encourage more surgeons who have adopted a `wait and see' stance to adopt the techniques it supports."

The new Starfish2 heart positioner offers:

Secure, stable access to all coronary arteries. Using gentle suction, the Starfish enables the surgeon to expose any surface of the heart and position it for the optimal approach with minimal negative impact on the patient's hemodynamic he·mo·dy·nam·ics  
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the forces involved in the circulation of blood.

 condition. Its new swivel headlink and high-flow flexible tubing greatly increase positioning options while a newly designed turret gives the Starfish2 arm a 360-degree range of motion.

Easier, quicker setup. The tubing set supplied with Starfish2 incorporates an in-line fluid collection canister that minimizes the potential for vacuum leaks in the suction lines and simplifies setup by making it unnecessary for operating-room staff to provide and connect a canister.

Improved visibility. Downsized control components contribute to an overall reduced profile.

Medtronic Cardiac Surgery offers the world's most complete product portfolio to facilitate beating-heart surgery as well as conventional procedures using the external perfusion circuit. For more information about Medtronic Cardiac Surgery products, visit the Medtronic Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery minimally invasive cardiac surgery Interventional cardiology Any of a number of techniques–MIDCAB, off-pump coronary-artery bypass, minimally invasive valve surgery, port-access coronary surgery, and port-access valve surgery–increasingly being used to  website at

Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, is the world's leading medical technology company, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. Its Internet address is

Any statements made about the company's anticipated financial results and regulatory approvals are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K Form 10-K

A report required by the SEC from exchange-listed companies that provides for annual disclosure of certain financial information.

Form 10-K

See 10-K.
 for the year ended April 27, 2001. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 6, 2002
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