BRISTOL – Innovative technology in place at Bristol Regional Medical Center is helping physicians perform biopsies and drainages with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.
Interventional computed tomography fluoroscopy – or real-time CT – relies on sophisticated computer software to provide real-time images during CT-guided biopsies and drainages. Unlike conventional CT-guided interventional procedures that require physicians to make multiple trips to a CT console, real-time CT allows a physician to control every facet of a procedure from the patient’s bedside.
Real-time CT can be used to biopsy lesions in the lungs, liver, pancreas, lower abdomen and pelvis. It is also useful during the drainage of abnormal fluid collection or abscesses.
The use of real-time CT at Bristol Regional complements real-time CT technology in place at Holston Valley Medical Center.
“Performing interventional procedures using conventional CT meant multiple trips from the patient’s side on the CT table to the console so that the needle or drainage tube could be advanced increment by increment with still pictures taken of each advance,” said Rick Gentry, MD, an interventional radiologist with Blue Ridge Radiology. “Now, we’re able to get the same amount of information much faster through immediate feedback on the position of the needle or drainage tube.”
Because the new technology enables physicians to advance a needle or drainage tube while watching it in real time, real-time CT also provides a higher degree of accuracy than conventional CT-guided procedures, Dr. Gentry said.
“We can advance the needle while watching the tip of the needle,” he said. “That lets us biopsy the lesion quickly and helps us avoid the surrounding structures we don’t need to disturb.”