In large part due to the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles, South Africans are increasingly falling victim to heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, which are leading killers in this country today.”
Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the Netcare hospital division, says that with the increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, there has arisen a commensurate need for highly skilled medical practitioners and facilities that can effectively treat them. “This is why Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg has invested in a hybrid theatre with state-of-the-art facilities and technology,” he adds.
“The hybrid theatre is designed to enable complex cardiovascular procedures as well as simultaneous surgical and radiological interventions to be undertaken. With its highly advanced equipment, the theatre is an important step forward for medicine in Johannesburg and in the battle against diseases such as coronary artery disease,” adds Du Plessis.
“Hybrid medical procedures have proved highly effective in the treatment of many cardiovascular and neurological cases and are the gold standard of care in these instances. The theatre keeps the hospital at the cutting edge of medical treatment and ensures that our patients continue to have access to only the very latest and safest in medical care,” notes Du Plessis.
Professor Talib Abdool-Carrim, a vascular surgeon who practises at the hospital, explains that the theatre is being enhanced with a range of surgical equipment, as well as extremely sophisticated imaging technology. The latter includes cutting-edge Siemens Artis Q technology, which provides doctors and surgeons with the highest quality three-dimensional imaging of any part of the human body. Artis Q provides sharp images even of moving objects such as coronary arteries while the optimised X-ray pulse of the technology helps to reduce radiation by up to 60%.
“This high-powered imaging equipment is being used to diagnose as well as to guide a range of surgical interventions in cardiovascular surgery. It enables, for example, vascular surgeons to visualise and treat tiny diseased vessels and anatomy with a high degree of precision,” adds Professor Abdool-Carrim.
He points out that many new treatment approaches in cardiovascular medicine require a combination of surgical procedures and minimally invasive percutaneous interventions, which are procedures that require small punctures to be made in the skin as opposed to the much larger incisions required for traditional open surgery. Percutaneous procedures use a long thin tube called a catheter, which is inserted through the punctures in the skin into an artery and is guided to the site requiring treatment.
“The new hybrid theatre is being developed to enable surgeons to perform a range of sophisticated procedures which require integrated operating rooms with surgical equipment as well as high powered three dimensional imaging technology that is necessary for complex percutaneous interventions,” points out Professor Abdool-Carrim.
He says that cardiovascular patients tend to be high-risk patients with co-morbidities, which refers to the simultaneous presence of multiple medical conditions in a patient. These patients in particular may require a range of different types of sophisticated surgical interventions such as can be undertaken in a hybrid theatre. In addition, they are usually best treated with minimally invasive procedures guided by powerful imaging technologies like the Siemens Artis Q.
“Minimally invasive percutaneous interventions are much safer than traditional open surgery. The risk of infection is much lower and patients are able to get back on their feet more quickly after the procedure which means that their hospital stay is reduced,” observes Professor Abdool-Carrim.
General manager of Netcare Milpark Hospital, Anton Gillis, explains that the hybrid operating theatre at the hospital combines the space, sterility and lighting of a conventional operating theatre with the imaging equipment necessary to undertake intricate surgical interventions.
“The hybrid theatre is being upgraded with the objective of meeting the needs of patients well into the future, and is an important step forward for cardiovascular and neurosurgical medicine in Johannesburg. The technology and facilities on offer will assist in further improving our already outstanding treatment outcomes in these fields,” Gillis concludes.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Milpark Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson or Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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