Rush Becomes First in Chicago To Use Robotic System for Neurovascular Care

Rush University System for Health expands its complement of minimally invasive care with new vascular robotic technology
Stephan Munich and R. Webster Crowley with CorPath robot
Rush neurosurgeons Stephan Munich, MD (left), and R. Webster Crowley, MD

Rush University System for Health is the first health care organization in Chicago, and one of the first in the Midwest, to use a robotic technology system for a minimally invasive, image-guided approach for diagnostic cerebral angiography and carotid angioplasty and stenting. Adding to its complement of leading-edge neurosurgical technologies, Rush began performing its first cases using the technology this week.

Relying on automated movements that replicate those of highly trained surgeons, the CorPath GRX Robotic System can potentially reduce the variability of neurovascular procedures by providing surgeons greater precision in threading the catheter through the arm or leg arteries. In turn, this may make these procedures safer for patients. 

The robot also can help surgeons diagnose aneurysms, atherosclerosis, arteriovenous malformations and vasculitis, among other conditions, and find the root causes of additional disorders such as acute stroke, severe headaches and balance or vision issues. Ideal candidates for using this system include patients who need a cerebral angiogram and anyone with carotid stenosis requiring treatment with carotid angioplasty and stent placement.

'Tremendous benefit' to patients

Given the system’s potential for greater consistency, predictability and accuracy, Rush is looking to use the robot in future endovascular and cerebrovascular clinical trials.

“We’re excited to incorporate the CorPath Robotic System into our suite of advanced vascular care technologies,” says R. Webster Crowley, MD, chief of the Section of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery and surgical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Rush University Medical Center. “Combining this technology with the expertise of our neurosurgeons is truly a tremendous benefit to our patients.”

As the No. 3-ranked neurology and neurosurgery program in the country, Rush continues to push the boundaries in delivering leading-edge care for its patients. Recently, Rush became one of the first health care organizations to offer MR-guided focused ultrasound, which provides a safe, incisionless treatment designed to reduce hand tremors, as well as remote deep brain stimulation, an innovative, FDA-approved technology that enables neurosurgeons to adjust patients’ DBS devices in the comfort of their own homes.

'Next-generation technology'

In addition to the committed focus on patients, Rush also keeps the well-being of its highly trained neurosurgeons in mind. The CorPath system provides physicians with 95% greater protection from radiation exposure than performing the same procedure manually while increasing their ergonomic comfort by placing them at a workstation outside the operating room. 

“We’re proud to be the first hospital in Chicago to offer this next-generation technology,” says Richard Byrne, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. “Our use of CorPath continues our long-standing commitment to deliver state-of-the-art care to our patients.”

About Rush University System for Health

Rush University System for Health brings together the brightest minds in medicine, research and academics. Driven by discovery, innovation and a deep responsibility for the health of our communities, Rush is a national leader in outstanding patient care, education, research, community partnerships and empowering a new generation of health care providers.

Rush University Medical Center is ranked among the top hospitals in the nation by “U.S. News & World Report.” The Medical Center was also ranked No. 1 in the nation by Vizient and named a Top Teaching Hospital by The Leapfrog Group.

Rush University System for Health includes Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as an extensive provider network and numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University comprises four colleges: Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

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