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Excimer Laser Sheath Holds Promise for Pacemaker-Lead Removal

Photonics Spectra
Feb 1997
Spectranetics Corp. of Colorado Springs, Colo., has filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration for premarket approval of its excimer Laser Sheath for removal of pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads. The device uses laser energy to cut through scar tissue around a lead as the laser sheath passes over it, delivering short, precise bursts of laser energy. Pacing leads allow pacemakers and ICDs to regulate the heartbeat with electronic pulses. The leads are often embedded in scar tissue, and surgeons have historically left worn out leads in place because of the high risk involved in removing them. The company plans a full-market release of the device after it receives FDA approval.

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