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Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute First in Tampa Bay to Perform a New Procedure to Remove High-Risk Clots

TAMPA, FL (March 8, 2013) - Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute is first in the Tampa Bay region to perform the AngioVac procedure on two patients suffering from blocked clots. Interventional Cardiologists, Dr. Vasco Marques and Dr. Asad Sawar use a device called the AngioVac Cannula and Circuit to successfully remove the blood clots.

From the patient’s perspective, the procedure is done much like any other heart catheterization or angiogram with placement of several catheters over a needle. These may go in a leg or neck vein depending on where the problem clot is located. The AngioVac catheter is much larger than most standard catheters to allow it to capture large pieces of clot much like an intravascular vacuum cleaner. The suction is supplied by an external pump attached to a filter that catches the clot and then returns clot-free blood back to the patient.

“The AngioVac procedure is also an option for patients who have blood clots in the lungs, a mass or benign tumor located in the right side of the heart also known as atrial myxoma, and for infections in the right side of the heart. About 500 of these procedures have taken place across the United States. The AngioVac procedure was performed on two patients at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute during the past month and we were able to successfully remove the blood clots. The procedure takes about three to four hours and the patient is monitored overnight,” said Dr. Marques.

Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute is focused on revolutionizing cardiovascular care in the Southeast through technology, innovation and leading-edge research. The device, made by Angiodynamics, serves as a venous drainage while opening up the veins, to find the clots. The coil-reinforced cannula is designed with a balloon, expandable funnel shaped tip. The funnel tip enhances venous drainage flow when balloon is inflated. It also prevents clogging once the material is building up within the device. The FDA approved the AngioVac device in 2011.

“The AngioVac is a truly unique device using simple principles to treat very difficult and often lethal conditions, enabling interventional cardiovascular specialists to offer patients additional treatment options. We continue to apply the latest technology to deliver the best patient-centered care at the Pepin Heart Institute. We stay on the leading edge of cardiovascular medicine to offer the latest and very best treatments throughout the entire region,” said Dr. Charles Lambert, Medical Director, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.