May 30, 2022

HCA UK at The Wellington Hospital treats 1st Neurosurgery patient using high tech iMRI scanner

Today, The Wellington Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK (HCA UK), will be using its new state of the art intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) scanner on its first patient. The 3T Siemens scanner, integrated into the BrainLab digital operating theatre, allows a scan of a patient’s brain during surgery, giving the surgeon confidence that they have achieved their treatment goal and reduced the need for the patient to have additional surgery in the early post-operative period.

Across their UK wide network of 7 private hospitals supported by 21 diagnostic centres, 19 primary care practices and specialist Leaders in Oncology Care cancer treatment centres, providing chemotherapy and immunotherapy, HCA UK is providing unrivalled access for its patients to this innovative technology now available at The Wellington Hospital.

The centre has undergone significant refurbishment, co-locating the new iMRI scanner and fully integrated digital theatre for minimally invasive endoscopic surgery and image-guided surgery for brain tumours.

Operated by specialist, trained neurosurgeons at HCA UK The Wellington Hospital, the BrainLab iMRI technology combined with the integrated digital theatre provides high-definition images of the brain during surgery, helping to guide the surgery, distinguish abnormal tissue from normal tissue and protect critical structures, all within the operating room. Following the iMRI scan, if further surgery is needed, the surgeon can continue immediately, eliminating the need for patients to have an MRI scan while conscious on the day after their brain surgery and greatly reducing the risk of them having to undergo another operation

Situated within The Wellington Hospital Neurosurgery Centre, the iMRI scanner and digital theatre further strengthens the hospital’s capability and commitment in the area of complex neurosurgery. As one of the first private neurosurgery centres in the UK, the specialist centre for the treatment of neurological conditions has pushed the boundaries of complex intracranial neurosurgery since it was established 40 years ago.

The Wellington Hospital’s iMRI scanner and integrated digital theatre is one of several cutting-edge diagnostic, surgical and treatment technologies currently available to HCA UK patients from across its UK network, including:

  • The Gamma Knife ® Icon, a high precision radiosurgery suite that has revolutionised surgery outcomes.
  • The Kinevo ® Surgical Microscope, which uses fluorescence to highlight tumours and can be integrated with image guidance to give a display of critical structures in a surgeon’s microscope eye piece. Its advanced robotic functions can assist in a range of surgical treatments.
  • Industry-leading image-guidance technology from BrainLab, which includes mapping of nerve fibres, used to plan a patient’s surgery. When a patient has an iMRI scan, the mapping software is automatically updated with their latest scan, so their surgeon can refer to the most up-to-date image during surgery.
  • A state-of-the-art intraoperative ultrasound machine, to allow for the live visualisation and assessment of changes to the brain during neurosurgery.

As well as access to state-of-the-art technology, patients will be seen by leading consultants with a well-established reputation in the management and treatment of all neurological conditions. 

This is the latest example of HCA Healthcare UK’s continued investment in pioneering technology at The Wellington Hospital’s long-established neurosurgery centre.

Mr Eric Reichle, CEO at The Wellington Hospital, said: "Our investment in the fully integrated digital theatre in The Neurosurgery Centre at The Wellington Hospital, including the state-of-the-art iMRI scanner, further enhances our commitment to providing outstanding care for patients facing the most challenging neurological conditions.

With our experience and expertise spanning 40 years, combined with forward-thinking investment in the most innovative technology, we are creating an environment that gives patients from across our entire network of UK wide private hospitals and specialist centres, access to the best specialist support and care possible."

Mr Ian Sabin, Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Wellington Hospital and Medical Director of the London Gamma Knife Centre at The Wellington Hospital said: "The new iMRI scanner provides our patients with the gold standard of care.

With this technology neurosurgery patients with brain tumours will have the best possible chance of tumours being removed fully without the need for further surgery."

HCA UK at The Wellington Hospital treats 1st Neurosurgery patient using high tech iMRI scanner
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