In 2011 our Cardiac Catheterisation laboratory was updated to a new Toshiba system which has consistently been rated internationally as the number 1 cardiac imaging system in the industry and can take an image of the heart from any angle.
The system is highly manoeuvrable, allowing head-to-toe imaging without the need to move the patient – making it more comfortable and less stressful. The latest imaging technology is incorporated, so that even the smallest blood vessels may be captured in high quality, aiding both the speed and accuracy of diagnoses.
Exposure to X-rays is limited by an ‘X-ray management package’ making the system extremely patient friendly. In addition, Cardiologists’ preferred viewing angles and previous patient examinations can be saved and recalled at a later date, enabling procedures to be as quick as possible and further cutting down the length of X-ray exposure.
Cardiac Electrophysiology is also undertaken in the Cath. Lab. which includes either freezing or heating dysfunctional areas of heart muscle in order to stop and prevent the re-occurrence of heart-rhythm disorders. This highly specialised service is available at only a handful of hospitals in the South of England.
The Catheterisation lab not only permits us to undertake complex cardiac imaging and interventional procedures, but also creates opportunities for other specialities. Due to the quality of images provided and the manoeuvrability of the equipment, we have recently begun carrying out Balloon Kyphoplasty in the Cath. Lab.
This Kyphoplasty procedure is used to secure vertebral compression fractures in the spine and consists of inflating balloons in the crushed vertebra before injecting bone cement to secure the fracture. The detailed images provided by the lab have proved ideal for carrying out this procedure and the ability to capture 360 degree images means that the patient no longer has to be moved mid operation.