Northampton General Hospital’s Heart Centre introduces drill treatment
October 23, 2017
Patients in Northamptonshire with severely blocked arteries that cannot be treated with routine surgery are now getting specialist treatment closer to home.
Patients receiving treatment in NGH’s Heart Centre can now benefit from a complex surgical procedure, called rotablation, which uses high-speed drills to blast away hardened calcium.
Dr David Sharman, consultant cardiologist said: “Most cardiac patients who have blocked arteries are able to have a routine coronary intervention, which means using a needle to go into the body and place a balloon into the narrowed artery to squeeze it open before placing a stent across the narrowing to keep it wide open.
“But a small number of patients cannot be treated with this routine approach as they have a high build-up of calcium that prevents balloon expansion and stent placement.
“Previously our patients would have had to either travel to Oxford or Harefield hospital for the procedure. It’s great news for our patients and their families that we can now provide this service here in Northampton.”
Rotablation uses a tiny drill to target the hard calcium rather than the soft lining of the blood vessels. It powers through the calcium and then makes it possible to complete the procedure using conventional techniques with balloons and stents.