An Innovator in Safe, Invasive Pediatric Procedures

Pediatric Pathways

An Innovator in Safe, Invasive Pediatric Procedures

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Pediatric Heart Care

American Family Children's Hospital heart surgeon Luke Lamers, MDAny family whose child requires an invasive cardiac, radiological or surgical procedure wants the safest environment for their child. New ultra-low dose imaging equipment, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is now available, providing maximum protection for children while giving physicians high-resolution, high-quality images allowing for the most precise guidance possible during procedures.

“This new X-ray technology can reduce radiation exposure by up to 60 percent, compared with existing technology,” says Luke Lamers, MD, a pediatric cardiologist who performs interventional procedures on children at American Family Children’s Hospital.

Beginning in January, UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison will become only the second hospital in the nation to offer this ultra-low dose radiation, once construction of its new multi-specialty Pediatric Hybrid Cath/Angio/O.R. Suite is complete. This new imaging facility coincides with the opening of the new Pediatric Vascular Anomalies Clinic.

Led by Beverly Aagaard Kienitz, MD, a neurointerventional surgeon, and Timothy King, MD, PhD, a plastic surgeon, this multi-specialty clinic includes physicians from neurointerventional surgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, dermatology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, cardiology, interventional radiology, hematology/oncology, ophthalmology, and others dedicated to treating a wide variety of vascular malformations.

Although patients with these conditions have been treated by UW Health for years, the new clinic will facilitate patient evaluation by pediatric specialists in a single clinic setting. Moreover, the ultra-low dose imaging equipment with advanced imaging and fusion capabilities allows for enhanced treatment of children while sparing them the higher radiation dosage used by most hospitals.

“This is a remarkable advancement in pediatric cardiac and radiology care,” says Jeff Poltawsky, vice president at American Family Children’s Hospital. “As one of the first to offer this advanced technology, we anticipate serving as a model for other children’s hospitals while also participating in research studies demonstrating the enhanced safety benefit to patients.”

The new Multi-specialty Hybrid Cath/Angio/OR Suite will be an invaluable addition when it comes to treating patients with:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Electrophysiology to correct heart arrhythmias
  • Neurovascular disease, including aneurysms, vascular malformations and strokes
  • Vascular or lymphatic malformations, treated by sclerotherapy or vascular embolization
  • Cancer or tumors requiring image-directed biopsies, embolization or other invasive radiologic procedures

Aside from being one of the only children’s hospitals to offer ultra low-dose imaging, Poltawsky says very few peer institutions share this type of equipment among pediatric specialties.

“We call this a universal room concept, because pediatric cardiologists, interventional radiologists and neuroendovascular specialists will share the equipment,” Poltawsky says. “This is a wonderful model in terms of achieving maximum use and productivity for our investment in this state-of-the-art technology.”