Advance vascular theatre now open at Life St Georges Hospital:

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With 3D imaging and a theatre bed and imaging system that can communicate, a new R20m vascular theatre has been opened at Life St George’s Hospital.

“While technology changes fast, this is arguably the best and most advanced unit in the country,” vascular surgeon Dr Ruan Botha said.

Vascular surgeons do surgery on veins and arteries, insert stents where needed and perform lifesaving procedures such as aortic repairs.

The former head of vascular surgery at the Universitas Medical School in Bloemfontein said where surgeons used to work with 2D imaging, the new theatre allowed them to see 3D images in exceptional quality.

He said that because of better imaging and shorter procedures, patients were exposed to only 10% of the radiation that was used in the past.

He explained that the theatre bed and the imaging system synchronised digitally to ensure they worked together while the theatre also allowed surgeons to do a CT-scan without having to move the patients elsewhere.

“This will allow for us to do much more complicated procedures,” he said.

The advanced visual navigation also allows them to work faster.

“This is only our second week but if we get up to full speed I think we will be able to complete procedures in half the time,” he said.

He said while complicated procedures such as aortic repairs previously had to be done as open surgeries, they could now be done endoscopically, allowing for the patient to recover much faster.

The hybrid nature of the theatre allows for surgeons to still perform open surgery if they have to.

“The learning curve has been steep,” said Botha, who qualified as a vascular surgeon in 2002.

Riaan Croucamp, of Life Healthcare, said the theatre was a R20m investment for the hospital.

“This has seen the establishment of a dedicated, state-of-the-art vascular theatre suite to accommodate complex aorta interventions and peripheral vascular procedures by the two onsite vascular surgeons, Dr Ruan Botha and Dr Dennis Shone.

“The new theatre allows for more vascular interventions, which include complex trans-catheter techniques which demand high-power equipment to visualise thin guide wires.

“As a quality control measure, this new system even allows computerised tomography (specialised x-rays creating pictures or scans inside the body) to be done in theatre,” he said.

“This is one of a very few in South Africa and the only facility in the Eastern Cape,” Croucamp said.

“This exciting upgrade of the vascular theatre suite enhances the patient experience while also allowing our doctors and nurses to achieve optimal healing outcomes.”

Source: Weekend Post, 23rd February 2019