UMass Memorial Medical Center Becomes First to FORS
New fiber optic technology gives surgeons a safer picture during invasive procedures
Reduces radiation for patient and care team
WORCESTER, Mass. Vascular surgeons at UMass Memorial Medical Center are the first in the United States to perform a minimally invasive complex aortic aneurysm repair with a new technology that uses fiber-optic cable imaging instead of X-ray radiation. Fiber Optic RealShape (FORS) is an imaging technology, developed by Philips, that markedly reduces radiation doses during endovascular procedures.
FORS uses fiber optic cable deformation instead of radiation for three-dimensional tracking of wires, catheters and other invasive clinical devices. The FORS technology minimizes radiation exposure for the patient and providers while giving doctors crystal clear images inside the patient’s body.
On Wednesday FORS was used in a 71-year-old male patient undergoing a fenestrated endovascular aortic repair, a form of endovascular surgery using a custom-designed graft to support both the aorta and arteries that branch off to the heart and kidneys. The procedure repaired a large thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. The procedure was successful, and the patient is currently doing very well after a two-night hospital stay.
“As you know, radiation allows us to do a lot of great things, but if used continuously, it can pose a threat to the health of a patient and to everyone on the treatment team,” said Andres Schanzer, MD, FACS, Chief, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center. “FORS technology is a critical step forward towards moving away from our dependence on X-rays and radiation while providing safe and effective minimally invasive treatments.
UMass Memorial has already completed three of these procedures and has two more procedures scheduled this month with FORS. The latest patient received only 25% of the radiation normally used.
We expect that this will become the standard for complex minimally invasive endovascular aortic treatment. UMass Memorial Health is the only center in the United States with FORS capability.
Fiber Optic RealShape technology sparks a new era in device guidance. This unique technology enables real-time 3D visualization of the full shape of devices inside the body without the need for fluoroscopy. The equipment sends pulses of light through hair-thin optical fibers that run within minimally invasive devices. This optical fiber is integrated into intra-body devices. By sending laser light into this fiber and then analyzing how it is reflected back along the fiber, we can reconstruct and visualize the full shape of the devices. In 3D. In real time. In distinctive colors. And from any viewing angle.
UMass Memorial Health
UMass Memorial Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 14,000 employees and 1,700 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. We are the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Our comprehensive system includes UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial Health – Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial Health – Community Healthlink. Together, we impact every aspect of life in the region by making health and wellness services available to everyone, advocating for social equality and providing economic stability and opportunity. There are many ways to heal. We pursue them all. Relentlessly. Visit www.ummhealth.org.