The number of referrals for CT scans at West Cornwall has steadily increased in recent years – around 5,500 scans are carried out each year – so the need for a new, improved scanner was evident.
Elizabeth Van Lingen, CT Team Lead RCHT is delighted with the new scanner and explained how it will help to improve the service offered to patients.
“This new machine is a 64-slice scanner making it much faster. We are able to scan people more quickly and it also enables us to do more technical scans, such as heart scans, which we weren’t able to do with the old machine,”
said Elizabeth. “We will also be able to offer complex examinations such as CT pnuemocolon studies – a ‘virtual colonoscopy’ where the scanner builds up a picture of the large bowel.”
Royal Cornwall Hospital Nuclear Medicine team was also delighted to open its newest scanner. The hospital now has two of the most up to date hybrid gamma camera and CT scanners, one of the few hospitals in the UK to be so well equipped. The new £556,920 scanner will mean patients with cancer, heart disease and bone and joint problems will benefit from faster scans and more accurate diagnosis; leading to quicker treatment.
Dr Tom Sulkin, Clinical Imaging Consultant explained how this new machine will benefit staff and patients.
“Hybrid gamma cameras are at the forefront of the evolving specialty of molecular imaging. They combine applied physiology and anatomy, allowing doctors to assess not only what internal organs look like but also how they are working,” stated Tom.
“Molecular imaging can add an extra level of understanding early in disease before changes are apparent on traditional scans such as CT. It can also be very useful when patients have had prior treatments that mean other scans are difficult to interpret; such as following extensive surgery or radiotherapy.”
To see these scanner and find out what they meant to the staff at West Cornwall Hospital and Royal Cornwall Hospital, click here to watch our video.