HOSPITAL NEWS Second Cath Lab for St George Private “NO CUT” HEART VALVE REPLACEMENT 46% LESS RADIATION WIDE AWAKE HEART SURGERY A new second Cath Lab, “wide awake heart surgery” and the ability to replace a heart valve without opening the patient’s chest are providing St George area patients with a new lease on life. The hospital has also been recognised in the European cardiology Journal Eurointervention for reducing radiation doses by up to 46 per cent during common stent procedures – where a small slender tube is used to open narrowed coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart. Tens of thousands of stent procedures are performed every year in Australia, either as an acute treatment for heart attack, or for resolution of chest pains due to blockages in the heart arteries that are not responding to medications. Whilst stent procedures are undoubtedly life-saving, doctors have expressed concerns about the risk of ionising radiation exposure during cardiac procedures. “During the past 25 years there has been a 700 per cent increase in the amount of radiation that a patient is exposed to during medical procedures,” says St George Private Interventional Cardiologist Dr James Weaver. “Whilst the need for doing these procedures almost always outweighs the very small risk of developing complications from ionising radiation, it is still very important that all attempts are made to reduce a patient’s exposure during individual procedures.” Dr Weaver’s study of 1011 patients tracked patient radiation outcomes with the world’s first commercially installed radiation-dose tracking system at St George Private. During the study, which used a special colour-mapping tracking system to make normally invisible radiation pathways visible – doctors were able to reduce patient radiation exposure by 46 per cent during stent insertion. The new technology is currently being integrated into a second new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory recently approved and purchased at St George Private. To be completed mid 2017, the lab will also include state-of-the- art imaging systems, as well as the capability to perform The new pain panacea: kidney autotransplant Kidney surgery is not everyone’s idea of the perfect birthday present. But it was for Terrigal midwife Georgie Sheumack this year, after living in excruciating pain – that often kept her bedridden and unable to work. Her doctors suspect a kidney infection was the trigger for her Loin Pain Haematuria – a rare syndrome linked to severe right side flank pain. After trying “every type of pain relief under the sun”, Georgie finally resolved her pain with a breakthrough surgical procedure called autotransplantation, performed at Westmead Private on her birthday on January 23. “Whilst most transplants involve a donor kidney, autotransplant means the patient’s own kidney is removed from its usual position and transplanted into the pelvis,” says Georgie. “The idea is that when you take the kidney out, you disconnect the nerve supply and stop the pain caused by kidney disease. “But by transplanting the kidney somewhere else, you still preserve the function of the kidney.” But whilst autotransplantation is a panacea for Georgie – she warns it’s not for everyone. “You try everything else first, because it’s a massive six hour surgery and you risk losing the kidney all together (due to blood supply loss in surgery or other factors.) But when you have tried everything and everything fails it’s the only option. I’m so glad I did it and so grateful to the team who provided this life-changing surgery.” Westmead Private’s Dr Howard Lau and Georgie Sheumack. Patients try their new look before surgery: 3D Breast Implants 6 The Ramsay Way 2017 | 01 heart valve implantation without the need for bypass surgery – a technique known as TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation). During this procedure a new tissue valve is guided and positioned within the aortic valve, all done without cutting the chest. The hospital has also recently introduced wide awake, “set and forget” heart implant procedures, where miniature heart devices are implanted under the chest skin in just 45 seconds – to monitor patients’ hearts from home. “All these innovations will provide significant improvements for the patients of the St George and Sutherland Area,” said Dr Weaver. Castlecrag Private Hospital now offers Vectra 3D breast implant scanning – one of the latest tools in the cosmetic surgery arsenal. “When we make changes to the patient’s breasts on the computer, we get a very realistic view of how the breasts are likely to look post-surgery from many different angles,” says Castlecrag Private Hospital Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Charles Cope. “The Vectra takes separate photos of the body and combines them into three dimensional images that can be rotated and viewed from any angle. This allows patients to visualise the results with their partner; to give them confidence in their decisions and to make choices about their options before surgery.” Dr Cope said breast augmentation was becoming increasingly popular in Australia, with surgery usually resulting in only minimal side effects – generally minor bruising, swelling and temporary numbness of the breast. “The main thing to remember with breast implants is that both the implant and the body changes and most patients – especially young patients – will require another operation at some stage. With luck implants may last 30 years or more.” Vectra 3D Virtual Breast Augmentation allows women to visualise what surgery can achieve. Interventional Cardiologist James Weaver and the St George Private Cath Lab team.
The Ramsay Way - April 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above