The North East's first operating
theatre dedicated to treating people with vascular disease, one of
the UK's biggest killers, has opened at University Hospital of
The Trust has invested £1.9m in the
'hybrid' endovascular operating theatre, which
includes equipment that allows clinicians to treat patients with
diseased veins and arteries in a more efficient and
Patients with blockages in their blood vessels are treated in
the theatre using endovascular (X-ray based) 'key-hole' techniques.
This type of treatment is usually easier and better for the patient
in terms of comfort and recovery time.
William Moody, aged 81, from Coxhoe in County Durham, was the
first patient to receive life-saving treatment at the new theatre.
He said: "I've had chest problems all of my life - ever since
working as a miner. When a scan of my chest revealed that I had a
life-threatening condition linked to an artery that had swollen and
was at risk of rupturing, the hospital booked me in for treatment
immediately. I remember the telephone call very well, they said:
'Don't panic, William, but we need you to come in for an operation
"I was scared, but Mr Davey the surgeon was so reassuring and
the care I received on the ward was fabulous. They fitted me with a
stent and fixed the aneurysm, and I recovered very quickly. I was
delighted that I was able to leave intensive care at the hospital
so quickly and go back home to be with my wife, Una. I was in
hospital for two days and then I was looked after at home by the
"The operation has helped me to live a better life - my scar is
much smaller than I expected and I feel champion now."
High-end X-ray technology is co-located in an operating theatre
setting and means that patients can have their treatment completed
in one episode of care. If the less invasive endovascular X-ray
route is not successful, surgeons can, if appropriate, convert to
open surgery to fix the problem - there and then.
As well as enabling the Trust to treat patients more
efficiently, the new hybrid theatre also means that those with more
complex vascular disease no longer need to travel out of the area
to remote hospitals and can now be treated locally at University
Hospital of North Durham.
Mr Philip Davey, Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon,
explained: "This is the first time that X-ray imaging has been
co-located in an operating theatre in the North East and it means
that we can provide patients with the best possible care.
"'Key-hole' techniques with X-rays can be better for the patient
because they offer a less invasive way of managing vascular disease
and often avoid the need for a general anaesthetic. Consequently,
patients typically need less time in hospital and their recovery
should be quicker.
"We can now offer more efficient "seamless" pathways of care and
patients no longer have to have surgery or an X-Ray procedure in
different locations at a different time."
'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we
have this service at all and well done to you all.'
Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley
Bridge Community Hospital