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NWI physicians use latest tools to keep patients healthy

By Kathleen Quilligan kathleen.quilligan@nwi.com,  (219) 662-5331  | Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011 12:00 am | Source: NWI Times

John Luke | The Time

Technologists Rita Rendina, left, and Amy Koulianos stand near the new 3-D mammography machine in the Outpatient Diagnostic Center at Methodist Hospital Southlake campus in Merrillville. Methodist is the only facility in Indiana with the 3-D scanner.


With robot-assisted surgeries and machines that use 3-D images to diagnose illness, it’s clear the future of medicine already has arrived in Northwest Indiana.

This month, Methodist Hospitals began offering 3-D tomosynthesis for breast cancer screenings using a Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system. Methodist is one of fewer than 100 breast cancer screening sites in the country to install the new equipment.

“We wanted something that was the latest technology,” Methodist CEO Ian McFadden said. “Actually, it’s as good as it gets in terms of technology.”

Dr. Kenneth Segel, lead interpreting physician for mammography, said the technology has been used in Europe but just recently was approved in the United States. The machine acquires multiple images of the breast from different angles. The images are put together to create a 3-D reconstruction.

“It’s the next logical step after digital mammography,” Segel told The Times earlier this year.

This year, Indiana University Health LaPorte Hospital’s Arrhythmia Center began offering the Sensei X robotic catheter, another surgery-assisting robot. It provides 3-D catheter control and visualization while exposing patients to less radiation.

In July, The Community Hospital announced it would begin using BioVision, which provides instant feedback to physicians in the operating rooms who are removing tumors.

“It’s changing the way that we diagnose very early breast cancer,” Dr. Terrence Dempsey, general surgeon and The Community Hospital surgery department chairman, said in a statement.

Community physicians say it saves them 45 to 60 minutes.

At St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, physicians are using endobronchial ultrasound, a relatively new, minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose lung cancer, infections or other diseases causing enlarged lymph nodes in the chest. Physicians obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without surgery.

In December, Franciscan St. Anthony Health Crown Point began using a da Vinci surgery robot, joining other Franciscan Alliance hospitals in the region that use the machine for minimally invasive surgeries such as kidney removal and uterus removal.

Dr. Michael Leland, an orthopedic surgeon at Porter hospital, has been doing hip replacements for 30 years but recently began doing the replacements with the help of a special table. The table allows him to perform a hip replacement using an anterior approach instead of a posterior approach, leading to less invasive surgery with quicker recovery time.

“Doctors in Porter County have made a great effort to learn skills and have skills using top-of-the-line techniques,” Leland said. “There’s no need to get on the Skyway. We do it here. And we have free parking.”

Posted in Heath-innovation on Sunday, August 28, 2011 12:00 am