Rambam Presents: Dramatic Improvement in Heart Catheterization Precision
November 23, 2020 – After months of focusing on patients suffering from the deadly coronavirus, Rambam Health Care Campus is now returning to full medical operations. This process includes the acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment, like Rambam’s new cardiac catheterization laboratories. At Rambam Health Care Campus, which operates the largest cardiology, cardiac surgery, and pediatric cardiology departments in Northern Israel, it is understood that regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical world needs to move forward, and that many patients need the most advanced technology, especially in the field of cardiology. Although COVID-19 may be around for some time, hospitals now know how to isolate and treat these patients in facilities that are separate from the rest of the hospital. At Rambam, coronavirus patients are treated in the Sammy Ofer Underground Emergency Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility that is isolated from the rest of the campus. These measures allow physicians and staff to continue the vital work of caring for patients suffering from many other life-threatening diseases. For the Interventional Cardiology Unit, 2020 is a year of renewal, marked by the inauguration of a new heart catheterization laboratory and two Philips cardiac imaging systems, considered the most advanced systems in the world. The acquisition of these systems is part of Rambam’s landmark development project, which includes the Eyal Ofer Heart Hospital. Once construction of the Heart Hospital is complete, the second cardiac imaging system will be installed in its new home. Dr. Arthur Kerner, Director of the Interventional Cardiology Unit, explains: "The new cardiac catheterization system is the Philips Azurion 7 M20. It places the Rambam Heart Institute at the forefront of clinical care. Using it enables our heart catheterization team to acquire extremely high resolution images of the heart, and our patients and staff experience a significantly reduced exposure to radiation." The new system is designed to address advanced treatments for coronary artery and structural heart diseases by creating 3D reconstructions of the heart arteries with a single injection of contrast material and acquiring images with a camera that rapidly rotates around the patient. The ability to import 3D images from CT scans and, in real-time, to merge data with the catheterization screen results in impressive images of the area of interest. "This significantly facilitates the spatial orientation of the cardiologist during complex procedures to treat heart arteries and valves, and dramatically improves accuracy," says Dr. Kerner. "This principle of operation can also be used with 3D echocardiograms to help direct and perform advanced surgeries to treat structural heart diseases, such as valve repair and replacement, closing the left atrial appendage, and treating structural heart disease in children and adults," explains Dr. Kerner. In the photos: The new cardiac catheterization lab in the Interventional Cardiology Unit at Rambam. Photography courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus.
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