August 12, 2010
High definition images help staff and patients at ARI
A £60,000 donation from CRANES (Cancer Research Aberdeen and North East Scotland) has enabled the purchase of high definition, state-of-the-art equipment for research, education and minimally invasive surgery at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) specifically for colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
The donation has bought two high definition (HD) screens, an HD recording system, and laparoscopic equipment, including a camera which relays pin-sharp images from inside a patient, for one of the operating theatres at ARI. The equipment is used for keyhole surgery and for research and monitoring of training and development of new techniques, such as 3D simulation training.
"The high quality images support keyhole procedures where the operation is via one or a few small incisions. This approach enhances patient safety and operative results because of the less invasive nature of keyhole surgery compared to open surgery," said Mr Tim McAdam, a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer at ARI.
"We have started using sophisticated imaging in one of our surgical theatres at ARI to support education and surgical training and now have it in a second theatre, thanks to CRANES."
Gladys Sangster, Chairman of CRANES, said that the committee was delighted to have been able to make this donation and to be able to participate in this exciting programme.
"CRANES has made a number of donations both to Foresterhill and to the University Research Department from the £700,000 approximately which they have raised since CRANES came into being in 2003. This has only been made possible by the continued support and generosity of the people in Aberdeen and the North East."
The new HD system, along with capturing equipment, is the first in ARI and has already been used for presentation of surgical operations to teach surgical trainees these advanced techniques across Scotland. The new system is being used for a joint study between NHS Grampian and the University of Aberdeen into ways of training surgeons in non-technical skills, such as anticipating and managing critical events which may happen during surgery.
Mr McAdam said: "The main aim is to assess whether simulation can be used to test and teach non-technical skills using a real theatre environment. We have already piloted this in a simulated theatre, to help patient care, with models − now we can use recordings of actual surgery and use our 3D image converter to improve spatial awareness. High quality visuals are central to the study and the new equipment enables recording, safe operating and viewing of the operation with assessment of the surgery by an independent viewer of the recorded DVD."
Another benefit of the new equipment is its compatibility with the Internet and a range of recording devices to enable telelinking and mentoring between surgeons performing cancer surgery in the North East of Scotland.
Through the telelink, medical students will be able to view real-time surgery in the Suttie Centre at Foresterhill, which allows large numbers of students to view an operation in fine detail, from a variety of angles, and take notes, which is not possible by physically attending a theatre during surgery.
"Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in the North East of Scotland and the development of new techniques in its treatment are important and the support of CRANES has proved invaluable in this," said Mr McAdam.
Caption: CRANES Chairman Gladys Sangster and Mr Tim McAdam, a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer at ARI,