Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Colchester: Ultrasound equipment that can take 3D images of the heart is installed at Colchester General Hospital

16:10 15 February 2014

Colchester Hospital staff with the new echocardiography machines.

Colchester Hospital staff with the new echocardiography machines.

Archant

Heart patients in north east Essex who need special diagnostic treatment no longer have to travel to the south of the county thanks to the introduction of a new service at Colchester General Hospital.

shares
Left -  2D views of the intra-atrial septum  of the heart. Right -  a 3D view.Left - 2D views of the intra-atrial septum of the heart. Right - a 3D view.

As part of a £250,000 investment in ultrasound equipment, cardiologists at the hospital can for the first time take 3D images of the heart, made possible by a £20,000 3D probe that is passed through the mouth into the gullet, giving doctors a better view.

Previously, patients from north east Essex needing this procedure had to travel to the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon Hospital.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Allan Harkness said: “The ability to take a 3D picture of the heart from the gullet is a dramatic improvement.

“It allows the cardiologist to create an image of the heart moving in real time that looks very similar to the view the surgeon has when operating.

“Such views make assessing heart problems much easier and conveying difficult problems more reliable than before.

“The surgeon has more confidence that the problem he sees on the ultrasound will be the problem he finds during surgery. This makes explaining the planned operation to the patient more straightforward.”

Standard ultrasound of the heart takes pictures from a probe placed on the chest.

While good pictures can be taken, some of the most complex parts of the heart, such as the valves, are deep inside and clear images can sometimes be difficult to obtain.

However, passing the 3D probe into the gullet, which lies just a few millimetres from the back of the heart, results in excellent images.

The 3D probe is about as thick as an average man’s finger and is swallowed by a patient after sedation, and spends 20-30 minutes in the gullet.

One of the first patients to benefit from the new service is Ted Wrenn, aged 70, of St Andrew’s Avenue, Colchester, who was referred to Colchester General Hospital after experiencing breathlessness.

“What patients want is as many services as possible to be provided at their local hospital,” he said. “The more that can be done locally, the better it is.”

As well as the 3D probe, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital, has invested in six new echocardiography machines, which use ultrasound to diagnose heart problems.

shares

0 comments

Ed Hawkins has been training celebrities for the new TV show 'Flock Stars'. Ed is pictured in Chelsworth.

He’s used to the challenges of a life outdoors – braving rain, wind and even snow to look after his sheep in bucolic rural Suffolk.

Figures presented in an operational performance report for the county show that the equivalent of 31 12-hour shifts were spent by ambulance staff treating patients who could not be admitted to A&E within 15-minutes of arrival.

Curve Motion in Bury St Edmunds is a good day out for the kids.

Sadly, rainy days are not a rare thing when it comes to the Great British Summer, so when the heavens open we are well-stocked with things to do.

Carl Robbins

The search for a prisoner who absconded from Hollesley Bay earlier this month is still ongoing.

Don't believe the message that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable

There’s something about Jez (as we hip young things on social media call Jeremy Corbyn) that thoroughly warms my cockles. Perhaps it’s his air of humility, his open-necked honesty or simply his dogged under-dogness?

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home.

Providing care for those in extreme old age, and with serious long-term health problems, is one of the major challenges facing society – especially for an area like East Anglia which has a disproportionately high number of older people.

Willow the Wolf.

A new art trail in Bury St Edmunds has already been followed by thousands of people, surpassing the expectations of its organisers.

People living near the Bulmer Fox pub (in Bulmer Tye near Sudbury) are at the end of their tether with the number of cars crashing throug their fence.

Another car has left the road at an accident blackspot on the Suffolk/Essex border – just days after an urgent plea was issued for measures to reduce the number of crashes.

Tents uprooted from their pegs at Jimmy's Farm.

More than 18,500 people attended the festival at the 100-acre farm in Wherstead at the weekend, which was hit by heavy rainfall.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages