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The SwiftNINJA® Steerable Microcatheter is the most advanced and only 180° articulating microcatheter on the market today. With a touch of a steering dial, the SwiftNINJA allows operators to change the angle and shape of the microcatheter tip while repositioning the device in vivo and in real time—all without the use of a guide wire.

Case studies have labeled the SwiftNINJA as a potential solution for complex embolization procedures.1,2 But according to physician feedback, this success may come with an experiential-based learning curve. The SwiftNINJA’s unique and novel design features have made it a distinct change from the pre-shaped microcatheters and guide wires physicians have traditionally used.

To navigate this transition, we provide three tips on how to proactively use the SwiftNINJA to stay ahead of the curve.

Elective Procedures First

Physicians have reported opting for the SwiftNINJA in emergency cases after several unsuccessful vessel cannulation attempts have been made using conventional microcatheter systems. But without prior SwiftNINJA experience, the device can be initially difficult to maneuver.

Instead of reserving the SwiftNINJA for so-called “bail out” situations, physicians have found that choosing to use the device in an elective procedure first may aid in proactively understanding how it behaves. This may help to not only improve an operator’s initial experience with the product but also potentially increase the likelihood of a successful case on the first attempt.

Known Complex Patient Anatomy

When a patient’s complex anatomy is already known, as in cases where retreatment is necessary, physicians have labeled the SwiftNINJA as their go-to device to simplify procedures that involve vessels with difficult angles.

This is routinely seen among primary liver cancer patients who need, for example, subsequent rounds of embolization treatments. With a patient’s liver anatomy already mapped, the physician can recognize these vessels in advance and call on the SwiftNINJA as a solution in such cases.

 Procedures with Difficult Vessel Selection

Certain procedures are known for difficult vessel selection. Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is one such procedure where physicians are cognizant of prostate vasculature tortuosity. The SwiftNINJA is a product recognized for its ability to rapidly select the most challenging vascular ostium.

Physicians have noted that by being aware of procedures with challenging vessel selection and consciously putting the SwiftNINJA to use can help tackle specific cases that would otherwise seem inaccessible. By making this judgment call, unsuccessful catheterization attempts may be avoided, potentially improving the overall experience for the patient, the operator, and the referring physician.

SWIFTNINJA Indications and Risks: The microcatheter is intended for general intravascular use, including peripheral and coronary vasculature. Once the sub selective region has been accessed, the microcatheter can be used for the controlled and selective infusion of diagnostic, embolic, or therapeutic materials into vessels. The microcatheter should not be used in the cerebral vessels.

This device is intended to be used only by physicians trained in percutaneous intravascular techniques and procedures. Operators should be well trained in microcatheter use and embolization procedures. For complete information regarding risks, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and adverse events please review the product’s Instructions for Use.

To learn more, visit the SwiftNINJA product page or talk to your Merit representative.

REFERENCES

  1. Hinrichs, J. B., Marquardt, S., Wacker, F. K., et al. (2017). Coil embolization of reversed-curve hepatointestinal collaterals in radioembolization: Potential solutions for a challenging task. Radiol Case Rep, May 27;12(3):529-533.
  2. Nishihara, Y. (n.d.). Embolization of post-EVAR type II endoleaks using SwiftNINJA®. Case report: vol. 2. Retreived from http://procardia.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/403617001-Case-Report-Vol.2_SwiftNINJA.pdf