New technology provides safer procedures for patients at St. Joseph Hospital

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Press release from St. Joseph Hospital:

New Technology Provides Safer Procedures for Patients at St. Joseph Hospital

Fort Wayne’s first hospital is showcasing some of the newest technology available in catheterization laboratories. St. Joseph Hospital has made a $1.6 million investment in equipment and upgrades that were made this year to add an interventional cath lab at the hospital. This work helps make catheterizations and other procedures more precise and safer for patients, physicians and clinical staff.

St. Joe conducts minimally invasive procedures on its new system to treat a wide range of clinical problems including coronary artery disease, a leading cause of heart disorders in the U.S. The catheter-based procedures may reduce the risks and recovery time found in traditional surgical approaches. The benefits of catheter-based interventions result in shorter hospital stays, reduced recovery time without the pain of a large incision, and less visible surgical scarring. These procedures can be performed on both the heart and peripheral blood vessels.

The equipment improves the process because it reduces radiation to the patient by 40 percent. The dye used during cases can break down kidney function and much less is needed to perform the same tests on standard equipment. This is a huge benefit for renal patients needing such tests.

“St. Joe’s new equipment is a quantum leap forward in both imaging and in safety,” said Louis Lopez, MD, Allen County Cardiology. “It has great ‘wow value’ because you don’t need all of those features but it sure makes it safer, faster and more fun for physicians to do our jobs.”

The machine actually senses body size and it allows the physician to program specific x-ray shots determined by physician preference. Up to five shots can be programmed and taken simultaneously.

“St. Joseph Hospital is thrilled to have the latest technology to lower radiation exposure and contrast dye amounts,” said Robert Snyder, director of radiology, St. Joseph Hospital. “Although many patients may be unaware of this benefit, this is just one example of how St. Joe continues to focus on outstanding patient care.”

Manufactured by Philips, the machine at St. Joe is a model site for other hospitals considering the purchase of this equipment. One hospital from the Chicago area has already visited St. Joe since the installation.

This is the third cath lab at St. Joe. Interventional means the lab has multiple capabilities to perform more than diagnostic procedures and being a combination room allows for heart and peripheral caths to be performed as well as CT scans. There are a few features of St. Joe’s model that no other facility in the tri-state area has including the CT-like imaging to perform biopsies with special software.

Radiology has historically been two dimensional but this machine can create three, thus allowing more precise and accurate images for both diagnostics and during procedures.

“I really like having the ability to produce three-dimensional images with less exposure to radiation,” said Louis Lopez, MD, Allen County Cardiology. “The technology allows us to see any rotation with just one image that provides an infinite amount of information to examine the blood vessels or arteries.”


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