Columbus, OH,
18:34 PM

OhioHealth Riverside Pioneers Robotic-assisted Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Robot reduces occupational hazard for physicians, improves outcomes for patients

OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital recently became the first care site in Ohio to perform a robot-assisted treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Using the CorePath robotic system, interventional cardiologist John A. Phillips, MD, successfully removed plaque and placed a stent to unclog blockages in the leg of a woman in her mid-60s. The groundbreaking outpatient procedure occurred in early November.

“It went well, we achieved our objective. The patient went home the same day, without any complications” Phillips said procedure. “Robotics are here to stay, we are blazing a new path. Only a handful of centers nationwide are using the robot for the treatment of PAD.”

The non-surgical, minimally invasive intervention uses radiologic imaging to guide instruments such as catheters and balloons through blood vessels. For much of the procedure, Phillips sat in a “cockpit,” away from the patient. Via a computer, he manipulated tiny tools attached to a robotic arm, manipulating the tools according to precise anatomical measurements.

The Food and Drug Administration earlier this year approved the application of the robot for the treatment of PAD.

The robot helps physicians and staff to reduce their exposure to radiation and eliminates the need to wear heavy leaded gear to guard against radiation exposure.

“It allows us to take off our protective lead,” Phillips said. “A fairly large percentage of us develop back, neck and spinal injuries from wearing it.”

For the patient, the precision of robotic-assisted PAD treatment helps reduce the use of unnecessary additional stents. 

Riverside activated the robot in late October and also has used it for angioplasty to treat coronary artery disease, with similar benefits for physicians, staff and patients. It is one of just dozens of hospitals nationwide using the robot to treat coronary artery disease.

Phillips is most excited about possible future uses for the robot. “It has the potential to take wires and other tools to places inside the vessels we have not been able to take them before, with a high degree of accuracy; and it may enable us to treat patients in rural areas remotely who may not have access to high-quality care,” he said.

Phillips is working closely with the manufacturer Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc. of Waltham, Mass. to develop these and other possibilities.

“We are continuing to learn,” he said. “The company is working with our group at Riverside to further develop it so it can be used universally in the future, which is a feather in our cap. This robot reflects the desire of OhioHealth to be on the leading edge of new technology. You become stagnant if you do not embrace new technologies that may ultimately improve patient care.”

Over 200 million people worldwide have PAD, a narrowing or blockage of arteries in the lower extremities. The incidence increases with age.

Cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, remains the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.


OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007–2019.

Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a system of 12 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory sites, hospice, home health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

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