Radiology specialists at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are making innovative use of a mobile operating theatre to ensure patients continue to get the treatment they need during a major refurbishment.
Operations that require use of interventional radiology will take place in a newly-installed mobile theatre at Royal Preston Hospital from December.
Interventional radiology is a technique that uses real-time imaging techniques such as X-rays and ultrasound to guide the clinician during operations.
It is used for a wide variety of treatments, including widening of narrowed and blocked blood vessels (including arteriovenous fistulae for dialysis patients) almost anywhere in the body, inserting catheters in major veins, treatment of uterine fibroids, relief of obstructed kidneys, emergency life-saving procedures such as stopping internal bleeding and much more.
The mobile theatre will be in use for around seven months while the hospital's main Interventional Radiology Angio-Lab is refurbished.
Elaine Hewitt, Lead IR Radiographer at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“State-of-the-art technology with the latest imaging capabilities and radiation-dose reduction features is being installed, including a flexible arm allowing radiographers to move the equipment around patients and surgical staff with ease.”
Patients will experience no significant change to the service they receive at Royal Preston Hospital during the refurbishment and waiting times are expected to reduce as a result of the project.
Dr Anup Mathew, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
"Interventional Radiology is a speciality that many people aren’t aware of and yet we treat people with all sorts of conditions from all specialities and from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria. Once the refurbishment is complete, we expect to provide a much better service to patients, including being able to offer new procedures. Because the mobile unit will also have state of the art imaging, we will immediately be able to reduce waiting times for patients requiring complex procedures such as carotid artery and renal artery stenting and provide emergency treatments without impacting workloads in other operating theatres.”