Fixed imaging systems for the theatre: The suite of the future

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In the last issue of Vascular News, Professor Marc Bosiers, AZ St-Blasius, Belgium, discussed the latest developments in hybrid interventional imaging suites and called for an end to the tradition of radiologists, cardiologists and vascular surgeons working from separate work areas. This, Bosiers claimed, can be achieved by installing a catheterisation laboratory imaging suite into a regular surgical suite, under the direction of vascular surgeons, which he termed the Vascular Intervention Unit.

In this issue, Vascular News talks to Professor Piergiorgio Cao, Ospedale Silvestrini, University of Perugia, Italy, regarding an exciting new development, similar to the Vascular Intervention Unit, which seeks to unite radiographers, radiologists and vascular surgeons.”Currently, there are limitations to computed radiography (CR). Compared with the new fixed imaging systems, images from the CR are not as good particularly when dealing with smaller vessels and/or obese patients. In fact, with the new system, the quality of the imaging has taken us to another world. Also CR systems do not incorporate an automated motor, so you cannot return to the original position automatically – this is an important improvement with the fixed imaging systems,” said Cao.

Cao also commented that the new systems aid reconstruction through the incorporation of a digital flat panel and that the problems of over-heating caused by using CR systems are not apparent with fixed imaging solutions. All these elements not only improve diagnosis and treatment, but also reduce the time spent gathering images, thereby improving workflow.

Cao claims that incorporating the new system into one unit not only increases co-operation between radiographers, radiologists and vascular surgeons but also allows their roles to be interchangeable. “No matter what intervention is required it can be carried out. Everything is thoroughly discussed in the operating room, from diagnosis to possible treatments, whether interventional or surgical. With this suite there is greater homogeneity. Another major benefit of the system is its fixed live transmission capability. “Not only can we transmit live cases,” Cao added, “but this system can also enable us to increase our teaching and training capabilities. With the included computerised workstation, we are now able to match the angiosuite with CT-3D reconstruction.

At Ospedale Silvestrini there is currently one endo-suite, one operating room equipped with a portable CR and one recovery room in intensive care for the short term. “Training, under the direction of a specialist from Siemens, takes three days, after which time I knew the basics, but not everything. There is a lot of software involved.”

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