2011 ExploreHealth Medical Breakthroughs | Sentara Healthcare
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2011 Medical Breakthroughs 

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November 2011

Innovative Imaging and Stealth Navigation - Making Spinal Surgery More Precise
Surgeons performing spine surgery at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital are the first in the area to employ the new technology of the O-arm® Surgical Imaging System and StealthStation®S7® Treatment Guidance System to provide more precise, real-time information during spinal surgery.

One look at this piece of high-tech imaging equipment and you can easily see why it’s called an ”O-arm.” Its circular “O” structure hinged on a movable base, transforms itself into a “C” shape as it remotely opens up one side to easily accommodate a patient on the operating table during surgery. In fact, the O-arm is a combination of C-arm technology teamed up with 3-D imaging and GPS-like navigation for less invasive, more effective imaging results before, during and after a surgical operation.

During spinal surgery, that information helps surgeons to make precise surgical decisions based on real-time images and to delicately maneuver around spinal nerves and organs, preserving healthy tissue and potentially shortening the length of surgery. At the end of a spinal surgery, this technology can visually confirm the accuracy of the procedure, before the patient even leaves the operating room.

- In about 30 seconds, the technology of the O-arm® System can deliver a 360-degree scan as well as two- and three-dimensional images of the surgical area, right in the operating room.

- Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons use this technology to obtain critical information during different phases of spinal surgery.

September 2011

A New CT Scanner With Unprecidented Speed and Spaciousness
Computed Tomography, known as "CT," has become a reliable tool in helping physicians to determine what’s happening inside a patient’s body. As technology has continued to improve, CT scans are now offering faster scanning and clearer images. The latest technology of the SOMATOM® Definition Flash is offering both.

Powered By Dual Technology
Traditional CT scanners are powered by a single x-ray tube, rotating around the patient as the exam table moves through the scanner. With this new dual-tube spiral system, two tubes operate simultaneously and merge data into one image, in half the time of a traditional CT.

The speed of the dual technology makes scanning possible without patients having to hold their breath. That is a definite advantage for patients who are breathing compromised as well as younger patients.

CT scans are available at Sentara locations throughout the area, including the dual-spiral technology at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.

July 2011

An “anti-gravity” technology that was originally developed to help astronauts stay fit is now available at the Sentara Therapy Center - James City in Williamsburg to help condition and rehabilitate lower extremity injuries or surgeries.

It’s a well-established fact that the body heals better and faster with a structured therapy and exercise program. But often with lower extremity (hips, legs, ankles) injuries or fractures, the full weight of the body can literally be too much to bear.

The concept of “anti-gravity” training started with the need for NASA’s astronauts to get some exercise during space missions. Now this same technology has been adapted and approved by the FDA for use in rehabilitation and training--right here on Earth--with an AlterG “anti-gravity” treadmill.

Read more about the anti-gravity treadmill

March 2011

Innovative Web Techology Allows Early Diagnosis of Heart Attacks

In Hampton Roads, heart attack care has gone to a new level. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are now able to transmit your heart’s information from any location directly to a physician who can diagnose a heart attack before you even reach the Emergency Room.

Calling 911 has always been your best chance of surviving a heart attack. With some new innovative technology, making that 911 call has now made your chances even better.

For a while, EMS teams have been able to transmit critical patient data, including an initial EKG, to the hospital. Now, an enhanced communication system has been brought to the region by a partnership between Sentara Heart and your local EMS. Through innovative web technology, the EMS team can now efficiently and accurately send an EKG to a Sentara physician for immediate interpretation.

Once it is confirmed that the incoming emergency patient is indeed experiencing a heart attack, a full plan of treatment is initiated. The cardiac team is notified and prepares to implement the intervention as soon as the ambulance arrives. Saving precious time, heart muscle and ultimately saving lives.

View Sentara treatment times from Emergency Room door to the Heart Cath Lab at sentara.com/heart.

Signs of a Heart Attack*
Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the chest
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath.
- Other signs including breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
*Source: American Heart Association

Call 911 if a person has chest discomfort, especially if combined with another one of these symptoms, for longer than a few minutes.


January 2011

Sentara Heart Hospital Initiates A New Clinical Trial for Treatment of A-Fib (Irregular Heartbeat)

Sentara Heart cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac electrophysiologists at Sentara Heart Hospital are the first in the country to begin enrolling and performing trial cases in the AtriCure DEEP AF feasibility trial, designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a hybrid treatment for atrial fibrillation.

Sentara Heart Hospital recently opened a Cardiac Hybrid Operating Suite, combining the diagnostic and treatment technologies of a cardiac catheterization lab, electrophysiology lab and traditional operating room. Cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac electrophysiologists are now breaking new ground in heart care and treatment, enrolling and performing trial cases in the AtriCure DEEP AF feasibility trial. The first trial hybrid procedure in the country was performed in the new, state-of-the-art Cardiac Hybrid Operating Suite at Sentara Heart Hospital.

First of Six Sites Nationally
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2010, the DEEP AF trial is designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a dual epicardial/endocardial procedure (DEEP), or hybrid procedure, to treat patients with persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. Sentara Heart Hospital is one of only six national centers awarded participation in this pivotal trial.

Sentara Heart Arrhythmia Center
The Sentara Heart Arrhythmia Center also helps patients with A-Fib. It’s the region’s first and only center that brings together highly talented cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac electrophysiologists to diagnose and treat simple-to-complex atrial fibrillation and other heart arrhythmias. Talk to your physician if you have any concerns about your heart health. For more information on the DEEP AF Trial, contact the Sentara Heart Arrhythmia Center at 757-388-8020 (toll free at 877-210-0793) or visit online at sentara.com/heart.

With more than 2.2 million people living with atrial fibrillation (AF or A-Fib), it is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, with symptoms of: 
- Heart palpitations (irregular or rapid heartbeat) 
- Dizziness 
- Shortness of breath 
- Fatigue

- The DEEP AF Trial is one of more than 90 clinical trials managed by the Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute, established by Sentara Heart and its cardiac physicians and cardiothoracic surgeons to advance the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular (heart) disease.

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