Doctors Researching Methods to Improve Stent Placement

2014 UNC SOM students
Dr. Paul Campbell (left) and his patient, Christopher Lyszczyk, tour the catheterization laboratory at CMC-Northeast. Lyszczyk was one of the first patients in a stent-placement research study being conducted by Dr. Campbell and his team.

Paul Campbell, MD, and the team of interventional cardiologists at Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute-Concord are studying refined ways to improve the accuracy for patients in need of a stent placement.

Since beginning the study in April, the team has used the technology in 60 patients.

“The major utility of the system is in making precise sub-millimeter measurements of lesions allowing appropriate stent length selection,” said Dr. Campbell. “In fact, a high percentage of lesions were visually estimated to be shorter than what the robotic system measured. It is in these lesions that extra stents are often placed after the actual full lesion is not covered by one stent.”

One of the first patients involved in the study, was Christopher Lyszczyk.

When Lyszczyk’s daughter came home from college, they went to the gym together. He hopped on the treadmill and after several minutes, started feeling some chest discomfort. He decided to slow down and he felt better. He tried to run again several more times but every time at about 8 minutes into his workout, he experienced chest pain.

He finally went to see his doctor who discovered he had a 95 percent lesion in a main coronary vessel. He was immediately scheduled for a stent placement at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast.

“I had no idea I was a heart candidate. I’m 54, not overweight and relatively healthy,” he said. “The team at (SHVI-Concord) was incredible – really, really great.”

In addition to improved precision for stent placement, the technology reduces the radiation risk for providers. Dr. Campbell presented some results from his study – “Robotic PCI: Precision with Protection from Occupational Hazards” at the Satellite Symposia at TCT 2014 (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics) conference in September.

Learn more about Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute