Baptist Health Lexington Enhances 20-Year Leadership in Pioneering Advanced Robotic Technology for Heart Disease Patients

December 27, 2023 — Stereotaxis, a pioneer in surgical robotics for minimally invasive endovascular intervention, and Baptist Health Lexington, a leading health provider in Kentucky, announced that physicians have built upon their two-decades of leadership in robotic heart care with the successful treatment of first patients using the newest advancement in the technology, the Genesis Robotic Magnetic Navigation (RMN) System.

Electrophysiologists at Baptist Health Lexington were the first globally to pioneer clinical use of Robotic Magnetic Navigation for the treatment of patients in 2003. The robotic technology represented an entirely novel way to address heart rhythm disorders in a minimally invasive procedure with the benefits of robotic precision and safety. In the ensuing years, the electrophysiology department, under the leadership of Dr. Gery Tomassoni, played central roles in advancing the technology and clinical science: authoring multiple scientific publications, participating in national clinical studies, guiding technology developments, and using robotic technology to treat over 1000 cardiac patients, including those with the most complex conditions.

With the unveiling of the Genesis System, Baptist Health Lexington has become the first in Kentucky, and one of the first in the world, to provide the latest advancement in robotic technology to treat cardiac arrhythmias.

“We are excited to build upon our leading robotic program and our long legacy of pioneering advanced technologies to advance care,” says Chris Roty, president of Baptist Health Lexington. “The adoption of the latest robotic magnetic navigation system represents our continued commitment to pursuing the innovative technologies and techniques that benefit our patients.”

“For twenty years, robotics has been central to our program offering the highest quality care to a broad range of heart rhythm patients, including the most complex, challenging, and underserved,” added Dr. Gery Tomassoni, Director of Electrophysiology at Baptist Health Lexington. “Many technologies come and go, but this is an example of a system that has continued to advance due to the clinical value in enabling safe and reliable treatment.”

Robotic Magnetic Navigation introduces the benefits of robotic precision and safety to cardiac ablation, a common minimally invasive procedure to treat arrhythmias. Tens of millions of individuals worldwide suffer from arrhythmias – abnormal heart rhythms that result when the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern. When left untreated, arrhythmias may significantly increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and sudden cardiac arrest.

Lewis Wilkerson was just one of Dr. Tomassoni’s many patients who has benefited from the use of Robotic Magnetic Navigation. In 2006, Lewis realized something was not right with his heart during one of his regular outdoor runs. His wife recommended he see their local cardiologist, Dr. Andy Bustin who, after discovering he had an arrhythmia, referred him to Dr. Tomassoni. Due to the complexity of Lewis’s arrhythmia, Dr. Tomassoni recommended a cardiac ablation using the Stereotaxis RMN system. A pharmacist, as is his wife, Lewis did his research and, after learning that Dr. Tomassoni has been doing these procedures since 2003 when the system was first installed at Central Baptist Hospital, knew that he was in good hands at this critical time in his life. Three days after his procedure, Lewis was back to his daily runs.

“The cooperation of my doctors, the expertise of Dr. Tomassoni, and the equipment he used, all combined to help me live the life I’m living today”, said Lewis this week. “This new technology, invested in by Baptist Health Lexington, along with the expertise of their staff; will continue to help so many Kentuckians just like me. My wife and I will always be grateful for the compassion the staff showed us, and the knowledge they have about the human heart.”

“Our long-term collaboration with Baptist Health Lexington has been instrumental for technological progress, scientific discovery, and clinical care,” said David Fischel, Chairman and CEO of Stereotaxis. “We look forward to expanding the success of  robotic ablation practices for patients suffering from arrhythmias in Kentucky.”

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