Signs of Life
Historically reserved for hospitals, Interventional Cardiologists of Gainesville, P.A. officially unveiled their Somatom Sensation 64-Slice Scanner Thursday at their Northwest Gainesville office. This is the only CT Scanner used by an outpatient clinic in the greater Gainesville-area, and for Dan Maico, that meant good news was on its way.
"I laid down on a stretcher, and three minutes later, I was up again," Maico recalled. "That was the end of it."
That three minutes let him know his heart is in pretty good shape. According to Dr. Jay Koons, being able to conduct quick and accurate tests like that was biggest reason for purchasing the early warning system.
"Our hope is that by incorporating this technology into our practice that we would be able to identify coronary disease at an earlier stage and be able to initiate therapy," Koons explained.
The entire process takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes, is painless and provides an extremely detailed image of the heart and arteries. The scanner can also be used to detect other conditions. The results are almost immediate, and the patient can go home right after.
"Basically, you lay on a table, it goes up, you move into the scanner, the tube rotates around the patient and you're done," CT Technologist Tony Mizrahy said.
The accuracy with which the scanner can find blockages is much greater than most other diagnostics. It is also a non-invasive technique. Koons said he believes this is no longer a technology best kept for life-or-death situations.
"Most of the patients that we would like to image are the low to intermediate probability patients," Koons elaborated. "Those are typically not the people that you frequently see in the hospital."
Over the last two months, approximately 200 people have been treated with the scanner; Maico said he understands why.
"It's just such an easy exam. I think if anyone has questions about what their coronary artery anatomy is, this is an easy way to at least screen for whether or not you have significant disease."
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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