– LG Health's
Drs. Steven Woratyla and John Briguglio at the new IVU.
new $8.2 million Interventional Vascular Unit (IVU) is designed as a safer and more efficient environment for physicians to perform minimally invasive procedures for a variety of conditions.
The new unit should appeal to a broad spectrum of specialists as a multidisciplinary approach to care is encouraged. Physicians will be able to work as a team at the new unit, which opened November 7 on LGH's first floor, near the endoscopy suite.
While image-guided interventional procedures have been performed at LGH for many years, physicians will now have a dedicated unit to provide the catheter- and needle-based procedures as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. Diagnostic angiograms, angioplasties and stents are just some of the interventional treatments physicians will perform at the IVU.
"The new IVU was built through a coordinated effort by hospital administrators, medical professionals and architects to achieve a streamlined unit where the same team will care for a patient from pre-procedure through post-procedure in one comfortable and well-equipped location," said co-medical director John Briguglio, MD, an interventional radiologist with Lancaster Radiology Associates. "Patients will have a much better experience because the unit incorporates a well-orchestrated team that provides a more personalized level of care."
"The new IVU is unique in that it was designed as a programmatic approach to treating vascular-based diseases by many different specialists," added Steven P. Woratyla, MD, a vascular surgeon with Surgical Specialists of Lancaster and co-medical director of the IVU. "Patients will check in, be evaluated, undergo treatment and recover in one central and convenient location."
While the unit initially may be used by radiologists, surgeons and cardiologists to perform minimally invasive procedures, it could also be used by other specialists. For instance, an intensivist who has routinely performed procedures at the patient's bedside "may now choose the IVU for the specially trained staff, imaging and monitoring equipment and comfortable work space," Dr. Briguglio noted.
Similar to the cancer center model, the goal of the unit is to function in a multidisciplinary capacity, bringing together a team of providers. This approach is ideal for patient care and should be attractive to physicians as it brings together knowledge from various specialties and reinforces collaboration.
Streamlined patient care
Indeed, a key feature of the new IVU is the seamless care patients will receive. Dedicated nurses, technicians and support staff follow patients throughout each stage of care, enabling the team to stay attuned to the needs of each patient. Physicians will work collaboratively in the suite, resulting in improved patient care and enhanced communication among providers.
Roughly 50% of the patients who will be treated in the IVU will be inpatients requiring interventional procedures or those who are brought in through the emergency department. The other half will be patients coming in for planned outpatient procedures.
The unit will be the common pathway for patients to receive pre-procedural preparation. Patients will then move to one of the IVU's procedure rooms or be escorted to radiology for treatment. Patients will also be monitored and cared for post-procedurally in the unit.
Advanced tools and technology
The IVU features 14 pre- and post-procedural outpatient beds, consult rooms for meeting with families, a reading and dictation room for image viewing and three procedure rooms with space reserved for two additional rooms to be built in the future.
Two of the procedure rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art fluoroscopic technology: the Philips Allura FD20 and the Philips Allura FD20/20 biplane system with 3D roadmapping.
"Our new technology enables us to superimpose data from previous CT or MRI imaging studies onto an image we can use under real-time X-ray guidance. This is a powerful tool that will make procedures go more quickly, and it will minimize the amount of X-ray exposure and the amount of contrast the patient will need since we will be starting with more information than we would have otherwise," said Dr. Briguglio.
Biplane technology provides physicians with two simultaneous viewing angles, capturing high-quality, high-resolution images of the body's internal organs and blood vessels during an interventional procedure. These imaging capabilities enable physicians to perform more complicated vascular procedures involving the liver, brain and spine.
One of the biggest advantages of this new equipment is its ability to improve image quality and clarity while exposing the patient to less radiation.
Procedures at the IVU
Some of the main procedures that will be performed in the IVU are catheter-based to diagnose and treat conditions outside the heart, including circulation to the extremities, internal organs and brain.
The IVU will offer interventional solutions to treat a variety of other diseases and conditions including liver cancer treatment, dialysis support, trauma embolizations, non-vascular obstructions, varicose veins, uterine fibroids and kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty.
In addition, the unit can support minor procedures that don't require high end equipment, such as central venous therapy or chest tube placements.
<–– Back to the November 2011 newsletter.