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Monday, August 31, 2015 - 15:19
One stop treatment

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 says.
“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 the very latest and safest in medical care,” he notes.
Professor Talib Abdool-Carrim, a vascular surgeon who practices 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,” he adds.
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.
Professor Abdool-Carrim says that cardiovascular patients tend to be high-risk with co-morbidities, which refers to the simultaneous presence of multiple medical conditions. These patients 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.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:28.7 1st July, 2015
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