NCH Performs First Surgery in SW Florida to Restore Mobility in Stroke Patients

NCH Performs First Surgery in SW Florida to Restore Mobility in Stroke Patients

Naples Comprehensive Health (NCH) proudly announces that it is the first healthcare facility in the region to successfully perform an innovative procedure using the Vivistim System aimed at restoring mobility in those suffering moderate to severe upper extremity motor deficits caused by ischemic stroke. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this revolutionary procedure marks a significant milestone in the field of stroke rehabilitation and is currently only available in Southwest Florida at NCH – one of only five Joint Commission accredited Comprehensive Stroke Centers in the state and the only one on the gulf coast.

Ischemic stroke is a debilitating condition that can result in long-term motor deficits, severely impacting patients’ quality of life. Before the Vivistim System, traditional treatment options had been few, leaving many patients with limited mobility and independence.

The Vivistim System promotes neuroplasticity and offers new hope to stroke survivors while representing a paradigm shift in stroke rehabilitation. It is intended to be used, along with post-stroke rehabilitation therapy, in patients who have had ischemic stroke to electrically stimulate the vagus nerve—a nerve that runs from the brain down to the abdomen. The goal is to reduce deficiencies in upper limb and extremity motor function and to improve patients’ ability to move their arms and hands.

With the Vivistim System, an implantable pulse generator (IPG)—which generates a mild electrical pulse—is implanted just under the skin in the chest of the patient. Attached to the IPG is a lead wire that is implanted under the skin and leads up to electrodes that are placed near the vagus nerve on the left side of the neck.

“We are thrilled to be at the forefront of medical innovation and to offer this groundbreaking treatment to stroke patients,” said Mazen AbuAwad, MD, Medical Director of the Wingard Stroke Institute at NCH.  (FEATURED PHOTO)  “This achievement underscores our commitment to providing the highest quality of stroke care and pushing the boundaries of medical science to improve patient outcomes.”

The success of this procedure not only represents a significant advancement in stroke rehabilitation but also highlights NCH’s dedication to excellence in patient care and medical innovation. With this milestone, NCH reinforces its position as a leader in stroke healthcare delivery and sets a new standard for stroke treatment in the region as we continue our journey to becoming an Advanced Community Healthcare SystemTM .

About NCH

NCH (Naples Comprehensive Health) is an Advanced Community Healthcare System™ serving Southwest Florida with premier routine, critical, and specialty care. NCH, a locally governed non-profit, is recognized as one of Healthgrades America’s Top 100 Hospitals which puts it in the top 2% in the nation for clinical excellence, in addition to being named a Top 50 Hospital for Surgical Care. The system is more than just two hospitals (referred to as the NCH Baker Hospital and NCH North Hospital) with a total of 713 beds – NCH is an alliance of over 750 physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Southwest Florida and is the region’s only Joint Commission accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center. NCH cardiac care is ranked top-3 in the state by Healthgrades while CMS has rated both NCH hospitals as 4-Star. NCH collaborates with the Hospital for Special Surgery for orthopedics, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for pediatrics, and ProScan Imaging for radiology services, ensuring top-tier medical care is available in Southwest Florida. With the largest provider network, urgent/immediate care centers, diagnostic facilities, and two hospitals, NCH is always advancing the quality of care near you. For more information, visit


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