Many Doctors in U.S. Failing to Seize Upon Crucial Technology, says a Top Cardiac Surgeon

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Dr. Balkhy points to ‘level of reassurance’ from VeriQ system, which is gaining favor with key regulators.

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"It’s amazing to me that it hasn’t become a part of general practices already," says Dr. Balkhy.

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A national pioneer in minimally invasive cardiac surgery said today he believes many more doctors need to join him and experience a “quick, simple and easy” technology that has been buoyed by a significant regulatory hurdle.

Husam H. Balkhy, Director of the Center for Robotics and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery in suburban Milwaukee, Wis., is speaking about Oslo-based Medistim’s VeriQ System, which assesses graft blood flow during coronary artery bypass surgery.

Balkhy has been an enthusiastic user of the VeriQ system because “it provides a level of reassurance while doing coronary artery bypass surgery,” he said. “It has given me and my team a new level of satisfaction in what we have set out to do and achieve, and has allowed me to innovate in my technique and employ modern advances.”

Medistim President Howie Milstein is thrilled with this assessment of the VeriQ system coming from a doctor not only with Balkhy’s credentials but from a surgeon who has such a wealth of experience with this technology.

“Dr. Balkhy is one example of an early Medistim adopter in the United States, and he’s been able to understand flow data at the most meaningful levels to optimize his patients’ outcomes,” Milstein said.

“While it takes months and years to achieve his depth of insight, the information gleaned from our technology enables all cardiac surgeons to make vital intraoperative decisions on surgical strategy.”

With nearly eight years of realizing the benefits of the VeriQ system during surgery, Balkhy said, “I see no reason why this should not be picked up in more hospitals and used in more CABG (coronary bypass grafting) procedures general practice. It’s amazing to me that it hasn’t become a part of general practices already.”

Balkhy’s embrace of the VeriQ system was echoed recently by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) a highly respected arm of the English National Health Service. NICE’s clinical scrutiny gave the VeriQ system high marks for reducing complications and containing costs for health-care administrators.

NICE’s findings came as no surprise to Balkhy, who has seen the VeriQ system’s impact in both surgical outcomes and limiting patients making costly return trips to operating rooms.

The VeriQ system “will generally result in 3 ½ percent fewer patients coming back to the OR after cardiac artery bypass surgery,” he said. “That is a big advantage in doing right by our patients and translates into significant health care savings.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: To watch robotic cardiac surgery being performed, with the VeriQ system employed,

About Medistim
Founded in 1984, Medistim is a world leader in developing, manufacturing and selling medical equipment for use in quality assessment of cardiac, vascular and transplant surgeries. Behind strong and consistent growth, Medistim continues to bring innovation to the medical technology field. Its wholly owned subsidiaries have sales organizations in the United States, Germany and Denmark, with about 50 distributors in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Its North American affiliate, Medistim USA, is based in suburban Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, visit

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