Dr. Samir Pancholy
Dr. Samir Pancholy

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – Dr. Samir Pancholy, an Indian-American cardiologist renowned worldwide for his advancements in emergency heart treatment, has invented a new device to prevent complications during catheterization.

Pancholy is responsible for introducing the nation’s cardiology patients to a less painful and safer alternative for catheter insertion, one which allows the device to be inserted through the wrist instead of the groin. His device is shattering through the medical community, as it prevents blood vessels from closing after the procedure.

Doctors catheterize patients for procedures like installing a stent, clearing blockages in blood vessels or inserting tiny cameras to look inside the heart.

“One of the potential downsides of doing radial artery catheterization is that because it’s a small artery and we put equipment in there, it tends to close up or occlude,” he said.

In May, Pancholy and VasoInnovations Inc., the company he started with several partners, received patents for VasoBand.

The VasoBand wraps around the wrist of a patient, and applies pressure to the both radial and ulnar arteries. It stops the bleeding from the radial artery but also keeps the blood flowing to prevent occlusion after the procedure. When he first began the procedure in 2002, only a small percentage – about seven to 10 percent – of radial artery catheterizations led to closed arteries. Through techniques he and his colleagues developed in 2008, those which became nationally accepted practices, that figure was shaved down to just 2 to 3 percent.

However, those closed arteries represented grave complications later in the process, the doctor said. Because the radial artery loops around at the wrist and connects with the ulnar artery, blood still travels normally to the hand, and it’s possible that patient and doctor may never know the radial artery closed, Pancholy said.

“We’d go in once, do the catheterization, everything goes fine and the patient goes home,” he said. “Then, two years later they have another blockage that we have to fix and we can’t go back in that same artery again – it closed up.”

Through applying pressure to the other side of the artery loop, the catheterization access site is less likely to close, he said.

“Randomized trials have actually shown that compressing the ulnar artery with any device leads to a lower rate of occlusion.”

Employing small balloons, the bracelet puts targeted pressure on the ulnar artery as well as the radial artery. Pancholy and his team now have their device patented, and are preparing to start trials of the device in India and the Czech Republic, where past compression techniques have already been tested.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the device before it can be put into production. The company plans to patent the device and corresponding technique in other nations so it can be standardized and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.