The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), with the support of Bayer Inc. through an innovation fund, has developed a first-of-its-kind pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) surgery simulator that has the potential to improve the quality of life for thousands of Canadian patients.
This new 3D device will allow doctors, for the first time, to train more effectively to perform surgery in cases of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH), a rare and debilitating disease caused by chronic blood clots within the lungs.
CTEPH is underdiagnosed and there are potentially several thousand prevalent cases in Canada. Approximately 80 per cent of CTEPH patients are eligible for PEA surgery with only three centres in Canada performing it.
The PEA surgery simulator addresses an imperative training need for this technically complex surgery for which only a few surgeons in Canada currently have expertise. The first simulator is now in operation at the Toronto Western Hospital, creating a training Centre of Excellence for surgical residents.
“Bayer is honoured to collaborate with the National Research Council to develop this innovative surgery simulator,” says Alok Kanti, President and CEO, Bayer Inc. Canada. “Bayer is dedicated to delivering innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for Canadians, and this surgery simulator will do just that for many Canadians with CTEPH.”
“The National Research Council developed one more tool to help Canadian doctors better serve their patients,” said Roman Szumski, Vice President, Life Sciences, National Research Council of Canada. “Our expertise makes us a unique collaborator for companies developing simulators for doctors and healthcare practitioners to perform complex and challenging medical techniques.”
CTEPH may be cured by PEA surgery, which involves a heart-lung bypass, full cardiac arrest and deep hypothermia. The rarity of the disease and the limited field of view during surgery make teaching this technique very difficult. “The simulator may reduce the training time for residents by up to six months,” says Dr. Marc de Perrot, world renowned thoracic surgeon at UHN – Toronto General Hospital, who worked in collaboration with NRC and Bayer to develop the simulator. This 3D simulator will provide surgeons with more “practice hours” to fine tune their ability to operate, which will lead to improved patient outcomes.