Hospital Adds Next-Generation Interventional Radiology System

$1 Million Investment in Minimally Invasive Technology Provides More Precise, Safer Treatment Capabilities, Opens Door to New Cancer Therapies

Glens Falls Hospital has once again advanced its capabilities in minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures with a $1 million investment in a new interventional radiology system. The system is part of $25 million in technology and facility improvements being made at the hospital this year.

Interventional radiology is a medical specialty in which doctors view real-time X-ray imaging to guide catheters and other tiny instruments through the body for procedures that would otherwise require open surgery. Glens Falls Hosptal’s two Interventional Radiology Suites are used for a wide variety of procedures related to the vascular and neurological systems, kidney disease, women’s health and other conditions. The procedures are performed by interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons and pain management specialists.

The new Toshiba Infinix system, which went into service June 29, replaces an older system. Its advanced imaging and real-time radiation-monitoring capabilities enable doctors to treat patients more precisely and quickly, minimizing radiation exposure. The new features will also enable doctors to provide new forms of cancer treatment for which Glens Falls area patients now have to travel to Albany or farther.

“Patients will immediately see benefits from this new technology,” said President & CEO Dianne Shugrue. “This investment is another example of how we are continuously looking for ways to deliver an even higher quality of care and an overall outstanding patient and visitor experience.”

The new Infinix system offers a feature called 3D Roadmapping, through which 3D images of the patient’s organs or systems can be created in advance of the procedure and then superimposed on the live X-ray image during the procedure, providing the doctor with a more detailed “roadmap” by which to navigate the instruments. The 3D image remains aligned with the X-ray image even when the patient’s position is shifted on the procedure table. Infinix also features specialized needle guidance software that provides the doctor with greater precision in choosing the right entry point and determining the proper angle for procedures requiring the use of a needle, such as a biopsy.

In addition to providing more detailed imaging, the new system has features to help reduce patient exposure to radiation, particularly in procedures that can last two to three hours. The spot fluoroscopy feature allows doctors to capture a still image of a larger area of the patient’s body and project it on a monitor as a background, and then superimpose a live X-ray image of the precise area of the body where the doctor is working. This minimizes the area of the body that is exposed to radiation. Infinix also includes a dose tracking system, which provides the doctor with real-time data on the amount of radiation that has been delivered to any particular area of the body so that adjustments can be made to protect patient safety.

The enhanced capabilities of the new system will allow the hospital to begin offering two new forms of cancer treatment. Radioembolization is a procedure in which radiation is delivered directly to a cancerous tumor from inside the body rather than through external beam radiation. This treatment is most often used for liver cancer because the liver does not tolerate external beam radiation well. Chemoembolization is a similar procedure, in which chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly to a tumor rather than through an intravenous system. Chemoembolization can be used for both primary and metastatic liver cancer. Both of these procedures are palliative, not curative, but have been shown to prolong a cancer patient’s quality and length of life.

“I have seen firsthand how these treatments can give people with terminal illnesses more quality time with family and friends, and I can’t wait to see it happening here in this region,” said Dr. Geoffrey Hill, an interventional radiologist with Adirondack Radiology Associates who treated cancer patients with this technology during his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and his fellowship at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. “I can’t say enough about how important it is that Glens Falls Hospital is making this investment.”

“With this investment, Glens Falls Hospital is once again demonstrating its commitment to high-quality cancer care,” said Dr. John Stoutenburg, Medical Director of The C. R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital. “These exciting Interventional radiology procedures are another important treatment option for our patients. They add to the comprehensive Medical and Radiation Oncology services offered at our Cancer Center.”

For more information on Interventional Radiology at Glens Falls Hospital, please call 926-4151.