Spectranetics’ Lead Extraction Simulator goes mobile in the USA

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Spectranetics has announced that it will take its lead extraction training directly to the physicians and the hospitals where they practice with a fully mobile version of the Laser Lead Extraction Simulation System. The company announced that the countrywide tour begins in mid-April in the northeast of USA, with stops in Philadelphia, Hartford, Springfield and Burlington.

In May 2010, Spectranetics introduced the only available laser-assisted lead extraction simulator, a virtual, hands-on environment to train physicians in the removal of pacemaker and defibrillators leads. A year later, the company followed-up with a comparable system designed to help physicians learn to treat peripheral vascular arterial occlusions.


The mock operating room is housed in a full-sized, 40-foot motor coach complete with a computerised rubber patient. Monitors around the operating table monitor vital signs and display images from a virtual fluoroscope. Physicians can practice multiple lead extraction case scenarios based on specific patient indications and using the same tools and techniques found in a traditional surgical suite. The experience replicates real-world scenarios, including challenges of complications that can arise during extraction procedures.


According to Spectranetics SVP of Global Marketing, Strategy and Portfolio, Donna Ford-Serbu, over 4.5 million people worldwide have an implanted cardiac device, and one million new leads are implanted annually. “Since their inception 50 years ago, these devices have improved quality of life and extended the longevity of many patients, often extending beyond the expected lifespan of the device itself,” said Ford-Serbu. “There are any number of reasons why leads may need to be removed, and Spectranetics is committed to providing the tools for safe, predictable lead extraction.”


A company release stated that the simulator responds to the needs of growing ranks of physicians performing lead extraction, providing a tactile feel for forces used for lead traction and laser sheath removal. In the past year, Spectranetics has hosted 19 simulator events and trained 378 physicians. The company expects to double both the number of events and physician trainings in 2013.


According to Laurence Epstein, chief of Cardiac Arrhythmia Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, lead extraction has one of the steepest and longest learning curves of all procedures. While studies have now demonstrated that extraction is a safe and effective option to lead management, the ability for physicians to receive robust training is limited. “The old approach of ‘see one, do one, teach one’ does not provide the experience experts feel is necessary,” said Epstein. “Training on a realistic simulator is a major step forward in physician training and improved patient outcomes.”


The original Laser Lead Extraction Simulator was developed in partnership with Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) in conjunction with MSC’s SimSuite simulation technology platform. Now adapted as a mobile experience, the system incorporates use of the Spectranetics GlideLight and SLS II Laser Sheaths, LLD EZ Lead Locking Device and VisiSheath Dilator Sheath in the lead extraction process.


The company will be announcing forthcoming tour dates and locations. Physicians and hospitals interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Tom Daily, director of Training at Spectranetics (tom.daily@spectranetics.com).