SALT LAKE CITY — Domain Surgical, a medical device company developing advanced thermal surgical technology for soft tissue cutting and coagulation, Thursday announced that its FMwand Ferromagnetic Surgical System was used for the first time in cardiac surgery.

Frank Shannon, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, , performed the operation. Dr. Shannon used the FMwand in a re-do open-heart operation in a 68-year-old woman who had undergone previous replacement of her aortic valve and bypass of her clogged coronary arteries. Within two years of this procedure, she had developed an abnormal collection of blood outside the walls of her aorta; this is called a “pseudo-aneurysm.” The walls of a pseudo-aneurysm are very thin and prone to rupture with manipulation or cautery.

“Using the FMwand, I was able to separate this delicate pseudo-aneurysm from the surrounding heart, lung and arteries without rupture or damage to these adjacent structures,” said Dr. Shannon. “The FMwand functioned like a ‘hot, cold scalpel’ in that the indistinct boundaries between adjacent scarred tissues were clearly separated with minimal bleeding and no significant collateral damage. This differs from traditional electrocautery, which ‘burns’ the tissue to prevent bleeding and creates tissue separation by heat damage to adherent structures.”

“We have been highly anticipating the first cardiac surgery with the FMwand and couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” said David J. McNally, president and CEO of Domain Surgical. “The FMwand surpasses traditional thermal dissection devices by eliminating electrical energy passage into surrounding tissues — significantly mitigating tissue damage. This reduction in tissue damage may lead to faster healing, which ultimately results in better outcomes for patients.”

The FMwand consists of a wire loop with a proprietary coating that, when activated, heats instantly, and when deactivated, quickly cools. The FMwand reduces unintended tissue damage compared to standard monopolar and bipolar electrosurgical instruments or laser devices, which may contribute to slow healing and burns in surrounding tissues. Traditional electrosurgical instruments can also produce muscle stimulation and sparking within tissues, which Dr. Shannon reported were not experienced when using the FMwand.

“The performance profile of the FMwand is advantageous in open-heart surgery because it has the potential to reduce blood transfusions and theoretically facilitate faster recovery by causing less tissue damage and reduced blood loss,” said Dr. Shannon. “These beneficial effects are promising, but remain to be confirmed in more cardiac surgical cases.”

To view a video of the surgery narrated by Dr. Shannon, visit

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