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Local Vascular Surgeon Performs Region's First Procedure Using New Device to Help Treat Blocked Arte

17-Jan-2013 BATON ROUGE – Local Vascular Surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg performed the region’s first endovascular procedure at Baton Rouge General using Avinger’s Ocelot catheter, recently FDA-cleared.

Observing Dr. Schwartzberg’s case in the General’s state-of-the-art hybrid operating room was Ocelot inventor and interventional cardiologist Dr. John Simpson, world-renowned for inventing the over-the-wire balloon angioplasty catheter, a percutaneous closure device and the SilverHawk Plaque Excision System.
The only one of its kind, Avinger’s Ocelot system combines the use of a minimally-invasive catheter with precise imaging capabilities in endovascular procedures for patients with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – a life-threatening disease characterized by blockages in peripheral arteries that can lead to stroke, heart attack, amputation and other serious conditions. Some blockages are severe and difficult to pass through with traditional catheters, often resulting in a more invasive bypass procedure where patients must undergo an incision along with general anesthesia.


The Ocelot catheter acts like a corkscrew, wedging through the blockage, enabling a guidewire to pass through the occluded area to then allow insertion of a therapeutic device, such as a balloon or stent, to restore blood flow to the legs. The Ocelot catheter is supported by the Lightbox console which allows physicians to see real-time images from inside an artery using optical coherence tomography (OCT) during the actual procedure. In the past, surgeons would have had to rely solely on x-ray as well as touch and/or feel to guide catheters through complicated blockages. With Ocelot, physicians can more accurately navigate through chronic total occlusions (CTOs) thanks to the images from inside the artery.

“The Ocelot system is a revolutionary step in minimally-invasive procedures to help treat completely blocked arteries that will offer patients improved outcomes, and we were pleased to have Dr. Simpson introduce this leading-edge technology to our community,” states Baton Rouge Clinic vascular surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg. “With the recently expanded surgical space equipped with state-of-the-art hybrid technology and the addition of the Ocelot device, Baton Rouge General’s Womack Heart Center continues to take its comprehensive heart and vascular services to the next level.”

The American Heart Association estimates that PAD affects approximately 8-12 million Americans each year. PAD is associated with risk factors such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and elevated cholesterol and often results in leg pain while walking.  Moreover, it is estimated that 200,000 amputations are performed each year as a result of PAD (and other complications such as Diabetes), and Dr. Simpson believes that many of these amputations can be avoided with this and other endovascular devices.  

Picture attached: Dr. John Simpson, Interventional Cardiologist, with Dr. Glen Schwartzberg, Vascular Surgeon, in Baton Rouge General’s new hybrid operating room.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center

Baton Rouge General Medical Center is a full-service community hospital, with 544 licensed beds between two campuses. As the first hospital in Baton Rouge, opening its doors in 1900, Baton Rouge General has a long history of groundbreaking milestones, as well as providing the Greater Baton Rouge community with high quality healthcare for generations. 


Baton Rouge General is affiliated with and also serves as a satellite campus of Tulane University School of Medicine. In addition to serving as a satellite campus for Tulane medical students in the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Discovery) Academy program, Baton Rouge General also offers a Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Sports Medicine Fellowship Program, School of Nursing and School of Radiologic Technology. Baton Rouge General, an accredited teaching hospital since 1991, is committed to exceptional medical education and serves a diverse population that is representative of the types of patients, injuries, illnesses and healthcare needs most frequently seen by physicians in private practice. For more information, visit www.BRGeneral.org.


About Baton Rouge General’s New Heart and Vascular Tower

Baton Rouge General and its new heart and vascular tower incorporates comprehensive cardiac and vascular services and specialists and provides care for people throughout our nine-parish metropolitan community.  In 2007, Baton Rouge General dedicated its cardiology program to the late Milton J. Womack, Sr., a community leader, philanthropist and founder of Milton J. Womack, Inc. commercial contracting company. Womack suffered from heart disease, and in honor of her husband, Margaret Womack vowed to be an active part in ensuring that the Baton Rouge community have access to the highest caliber of heart care services. Baton Rouge General’s Womack Heart Center and its new heart and vascular tower offers comprehensive specialists, programs and services, and state-of-the-art technology and treatments all under one roof:
  • Full spectrum of multidisciplinary diabetes, lipid, cardiac, vascular and cardio thoracic experts and specialists
  • State-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Technology
     - Cardiovascular Ultrasound
     - Vascular Ultrasound
     - Stress Testing and Nuclear Medicine
  • Advanced Heart Catheterization Labs
  • Dedicated Heart Operating Rooms
  • Expanded Surgical Space including Hybrid Operating Suite for Minimally Invasive Interventions
  • 24 Hour Emergency Room with Specialized Training for Senior Care
  • Comprehensive Stroke Services
  • Fully Monitored Intensive Care and Telemetry Units
  • Cardiovascular Recovery Area
  • Inpatient & Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs
  • Limbs for Life Program
  • Screenings and Early Detection
  • Baton Rouge General Fit! Wellness Pilot
  • Prevention Programs, including Smoking Cessation Courses
For more information, visit www.BRGeneral.org.
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