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Diagnostic imaging

VGH opens angio suite for neuro-surgery/radiology

VANCOUVER – A new biplane rotational neuro-angiography suite is helping endovascular neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) perform complex x-ray procedures with higher precision and safety.

The $3-million, state-of-the-art suite will give physicians a dramatically better view of the blood vessels of the brain, neck and spinal cord, which will allow improved diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting these areas using minimally invasive procedures. Neuroradiologists and endovascular neurosurgeons can now perform procedures with the most advanced x-ray technology available, improving their ability to treat and cure potentially life-threatening problems, such as acute stroke or bleeding related to aneurysm rupture.

This suite also provides new tools to help guide neuroradiologists in performing procedures for patients with a variety of spine disorders. By using this technology, all patients will have their procedures done safer, better and faster, with significantly shorter recovery times when compared to traditional surgery.

The new Philips Allura FD20/20 biplane neuro-angiography unit is an advanced x-ray system which takes high resolution images of intricate parts of the body. The biplane suite captures images from two different angles simultaneously, rather than just one angle from a single plane unit. Now armed with the most advanced technology available, staff will be able to see real-time 3-D views, greatly improving the medical team’s understanding of the patient’s problem and enable staff to create a precise and direct route to reach the trouble areas.

“This new neuro-angio unit will replace the previous unit, which was nearly 15 years old,” said Dr. Bruce Forster, regional medical director of Medical Imaging at VGH and UBC hospitals. “With the biplane technology, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons can determine the makeup and pinpoint the location of abnormal clusters of blood vessels or aneurysms in a precise manner that is not available with single plane technology.”

A combination of large and small donations, totaling $2.9-million, to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation enabled the purchase of the suite.

“We were able to fund this priority item for our medical experts by combining several large gifts in excess of half a million dollars, which donors made specifically for this project, with smaller donations allocated to our areas of greatest need,” said Ron Dumouchelle, president and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “Philanthropy plays such an important role in the complex, specialized health care delivered at the hospitals we fundraise for.”

“On behalf of everyone at Vancouver General Hospital, I would like to thank the Foundation and our numerous donors for their continuing support of this and other important initiatives. Their generosity and commitment allows us to work with leading-edge technology to provide the best possible care for our patients,” said Mary Ackenhusen, Chief Operating Officer, Vancouver General Hospital.

Nearly 2,000 procedures a year will be performed in the biplane neuro-angio suite, which is the only one of its kind for adults in the province.

Construction for the renovation of the suite began June 10, 2011. The new suite was fully operational Aug. 15, 2011.

VCH is responsible for the delivery of $2.9 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities, including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is the registered charity that raises funds for much-needed medical equipment, important research and improvements to patient treatments at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. Medical and scientific experts here are responsible for serving patients from across British Columbia, and delivering the province’s most specialized adult care for almost any serious medical condition or illness. The Foundation also fundraises for Vancouver Coastal Health – Vancouver Community health services; a network of community and home-based health care across the city.

For more than 30 years, the Foundation and its donors have been the bridge between the essential health care that governments provide and more advanced health care.

Posted August 25, 2011