Expanded Role for Robots

Hansen Sensei™ Robotic Catheter SystemHartford Hospital has introduced the state’s first medical robot that significantly affects how complex heart arrhythmias are treated.

The new robot is an expansion of the hospital’s renowned robotics and electrophysiology programs. The Hansen Sensei™ Robotic Catheter System enables physicians to reach specific areas of the heart with increased precision and stability.

“Robotic surgery has brought about extraordinary changes in how well physicians are able to deliver their care and Hartford Hospital has been a national leader in robotic surgery,” said Dr. Steven Zweibel, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Hartford Hospital. “We are delighted to apply robotics to electrophysiology, as it will help us perform complex procedures with even more confidence and accuracy. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on patient outcomes.”
More than 2.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with a complex cardiac arrhythmia, resulting in more than 850,000 hospitalizations each year. When treating certain complex cardiac arrhythmias, physicians may use a method known as catheter ablation. This process uses a tiny catheter to deliver energy that destroys small areas of heart muscle responsible for causing rapid or irregular heart rhythms. The procedure enables physicians to map out the heart’s electrical system and target only those specific areas in need of treatment.

Prior to the to robot, catheter ablation required a manual technique in which physicians manipulated one end of the catheter with inadequate assurance that the tip would respond as desired while inside the heart. As a result, achieving stable contact for successful mapping was difficult, and could lead to highly variable and less-than-optimal outcomes. With the robot, physicians are able to manipulate the catheters with increased precision and accuracy, and are able to accurately target only the areas within the heart that are in need of treatment.

Robotic surgery allows surgeons to perform minimally-invasive procedures with more precision. Hartford Hospital doctors have pioneered many robotic procedures, doing more of them in more specialties than any other hospital in New England and most other hospitals in the country.