Press Release

OHSU patient first to receive new technique to reduce high blood pressure in the liver

December 19, 2017

TORONTO & PORTLAND, December 19, 2017—Physicians in Portland, Oregon have successfully demonstrated a way to deliver potentially life-saving procedures to patients with cirrhosis of the liver. The medical team used an innovative radiofrequency (RF) device from Baylis Medical Company Inc. to open a channel, or shunt, through the hard cirrhotic tissue of the liver with minimal trauma to surrounding tissue.

The procedure, known as transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt or TIPS for short, is used to treat portal hypertension, a common side effect of chronic cirrhosis that can frequently lead to life-threatening bleeding in the intestines and esophagus and fluid buildup in the abdomen. TIPS creates a new pathway that allows blood to flow better, easing pressure on enlarged veins in the stomach, esophagus, intestines and liver. The procedure is used on between 10,000 and 12,000 patients annually in the United States.

Traditionally, TIPS uses a sharp-tipped needle to mechanically puncture the tough liver tissue. Repeated attempts to cut through the liver tissue are occasionally needed which increases surgery time and the risk of damage to the surrounding tissue. Longer surgery times also means extended use of fluoroscopic imaging which results in higher radiation doses to patients and staff.

Dr. Khashayar Farsad, an interventional radiologist at OHSU, is leading a clinical study involving 10 patients to evaluate a new technique using the Baylis PowerWire® RF Guidewire. A patient at OHSU recently became the first person in the world to undergo the TIPS procedure using the PowerWire RF Guidewire.

The PowerWire RF Guidewire uses a short and highly focused RF energy pulse to cut through the tissue. Dr. Farsad is studying whether the device enables a puncture that is more controlled and predictable.

“We are pleased to be making our innovative PowerWire RF guidewire technology available to OHSU for such an important study,” says Kris Shah, President of Baylis Medical. “Baylis is committed to working with physicians everywhere to improve patient care by overcoming technical or clinical challenges. Peer-reviewed scientific studies, as well as physician feedback, have repeatedly demonstrated that Baylis devices provide clinically relevant solutions that are effective and provide improved patient outcomes.”

OHSU is the birthplace of interventional radiology, or minimally-invasive image guided procedures. Dr. Josef Rosch, the founding director of what is now OHSU’s Charles T. Dotter Department of Interventional Radiology, pioneered the TIPS procedure in 1969.

About Baylis Medical
Baylis Medical develops and markets high-technology medical devices used in the fields of electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, and spinal procedures. Our vision is to develop and market innovative medical therapies while Improving the Lives of People Around the World. The company has offices in Montreal and Toronto (Canada), Boston (USA), London (UK), and Munich (Germany). For more information, visit

PRM-00283 EN J-1,2,3 V-1© Copyright Baylis Medical Company Inc., 2017. The Baylis Medical logo and PowerWire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Baylis Medical Company Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Baylis Medical Company Inc. reserves the right to change specifications or to incorporate design changes without notice and without incurring any obligation relating to equipment previously manufactured or delivered. Before use, consult product labels and inserts for any indications, contraindications, hazards, warnings, cautions and instructions for use. Caution : Federal Law (USA) restricts the sale of these devices to or by the order of a physician. Patents Pending and/or issued. The device referred to in this press release is cleared in the US to cut and/or coagulate soft tissue.

Media Contact

Elissa Hanna
Corporate Communications Manager