NEW C-ARM FLUOROSCOPY MACHINE FOR OUR SMALL ANIMAL HOSPITAL
The small animal clinic has recently benefited from the purchase of a new fluoroscopy machine, a Siemens Siremobil Compact L C-arm, kindly funded by the Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust. Fluoroscopy is a form of imaging that uses a low-intensity X-ray beam to produce a real-time (moving) radiographic image. The C-Arm unit that the AHT now has is highly mobile and versatile, allowing it to be used in many areas of the clinics and at a variety of angles around the patient.
Traditional uses of fluoroscopy have mainly been for diagnostic purposes, including the recognition of dynamic airway disease (eg collapsing trachea) and assessment of swallowing disorders and gastrointestinal tract mobility – megaoesophagus can be diagnosed using a horizontal X-ray beam and following administration of barium alone or in food, abnormalities of swallowing and gastric motility and emptying can be assessed.
In recent years, more and more novel uses of fluoroscopy described as it allows accurate placement of objects during surgical and minimally invasive procedures. At The Animal Health Trust we are planning to use this new piece of equipment both to improve the efficiency of our existing procedures but also to be able to offer a range of novel treatments to appropriate cases. Some examples of therapeutic use of fluoroscopy include:
- Vascular interventions – using angiography to highlight blood vessels, the fluoroscopy unit can then be used to guide catheters, stents and coils through the vasculature to target sites. This is commonly used to close portosystemic shunts without an abdominal incision but it can also be used to embolise tumours, vascular malformations or persistent epistaxis and to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs directly into the blood supply of tumours.
- Respiratory disease – not only can fluoroscopy be used in the diagnosis of collapsing trachea but it can also be used to place tracheal stents as part of their treatment. Fluoroscopy can also be used in the treatment of nasopharyngeal stenosis and in the retrieval of tracheal foreign bodies.
- Urinary tract disease – in recent years many endourilogical procedures have been described in small animals that incorporate the use of fluoroscopy. These include placement of urethral catheters in cases of blockage or obstruction, placement of stents in the urethra in cases of carcinoma and placement of ureteral stents in cases of ureteral calculi.
- Orthopaedics – intraoperative use of fluoroscopy can speed up and improve accuracy of fracture reduction and implant positioning
We look forward to offering these services to our patients in the coming months and will be happy to discuss if they are appropriate for your patient should you be considering referral.