Innovative Technology Provides Direct Imaging of the Heart After Surgery

Innovative Technology Provides Direct Imaging of the Heart After Surgery

shutterstock_127137266Allegheny Health Network offers cutting edge technology that enables caregivers to access real time images of intensive care unit (ICU) patients’ hearts as they recover from surgery.

Imacor’s hemodynamic transesophageal echocardiography (hTEE) system, available at the Allegheny General Hospital, consists of a very small disposable probe called ClariTEE, which is inserted through the esophagus and guided into the stomach, remaining in place for about 72 hours so that direct views of the beating heart are accessed via ultrasound. Through monitoring and imaging the heart, members of the ICU team can more quickly, effectively and safely stabilize patients’ condition.

“Patients who are recovering from open-heart surgery are at risk for particular problems that may develop while they are recovering in the ICU. Direct continuous visualization of the heart is a key tool in being able to solve these problems and stabilize high-risk patients as quickly as possible,” George Magovern, Professor and Chairman of Allegheny Health Network’s Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, said in a press release.

By using this system, intensive care experts are provided with immediate data concerning the heart’s condition at the exact moment when patients experience a specific symptom. Furthermore, it allows them to observe real time reactions to the interventions.

Joseph Rossi, MD, Division Chief of Critical Care Medicine for Allegheny Health Network, added, “The critical care medicine team works around the clock to monitor patients during the most vulnerable periods of their recovery and provide swift intervention when post-surgical complications arise. Continuous access to ultrasound images of the heart gives our physicians and nurses invaluable information that will aid greatly in making critical treatment decisions.”

Issues like right ventricular failure can be difficult to detect without ultrasound. The hTEE technology allows doctors to understand which is the best treatment to stabilize patients. “Patient safety is our highest priority. Allegheny General Hospital prides itself on offering the most advanced tools to yield superior surgical outcomes and is pleased to offer this new technology for achieving optimal post-operative management for patients recovering from heart surgery,” concluded Allegheny Health Network Cardiovascular Institute’s Director Dr. Srinivas Murali.

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