Photo: Sung Wan Ham, MD

Keck Medicine of USC vascular surgeons Sung Wan Ham, MD, and Sukgu Han, MD, recently completed the first procedure of its kind in the United States with a newly available robotic catheter.

The device, known as the Magellan Robotic System 10Fr catheter, was utilized in a peripheral endovascular procedure on a patient with bile duct cancer. The new robotic catheter was used to stent open the two main arteries that supply the abdominal organs, giving the best chance for a successful surgery by the liver surgeons. The devices is the newest and largest in a line of robotic catheters available to surgeons using the Magellan Robotic System, which has been in use at Keck Hospital of USC for about a year to treat peripheral vascular disease.

The system deploys catheters during minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Ham, an assistant professor of surgery in the division of vascular surgery for the Keck School of Medicine of USC, said the Magellan robot lets a physician control a guide wire, catheter and supporting sheath from a centralized remote workstation. This allows for precise navigation even through difficult bends in the vasculature, which can reduce procedure times and lessen radiation exposure to physicians, patients and staff.

“The new Magellan catheter gives us the ability to deliver larger devices with robotic control, broadening the breadth of robotic procedures we can offer to additional patients,” Ham explained. “This element of the new 10Fr catheter will allow us to perform endovascular procedures more efficiently with less radiation, particularly with complex endovascular aortic procedures.”

Han, an assistant professor of clinical surgery at the Keck School of Medicine, also sees this milestone as an important step toward use of intravascular robotics in a broader range of procedures.

“We experienced the same degree of control and precision with the new 10-French robotic catheter as the previous smaller caliber systems,” Han noted. “We were able to use the trans-femoral approach in delivering therapy to these highly angulated target vessels. This would not have been possible without the stability and control of the Magellan system.”

Keck Hospital of USC was the first hospital in California to acquire the robotic system.

“We are committed to continuing to expand our robotic endovascular practice and remain among the nation’s leaders in vascular technology,” said Fred Weaver, MD, MMM, chief of the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy. He said the technology benefits patients with serious health conditions by improving their chance to be treated via a minimally invasive procedure that usually results in less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.