Tuesday, November 13, 2012

VA Medical Center News

Cardiac surgeries performed at the Washington D.C VA Medical Center (DCVAMC) are now more accurate due to the latest intra-operative tool, the Medistim VeriQC system. DCVAMC is one of only twelve VA medical centers employing this latest technological advance which combines ultrasound and Doppler velocity measurements.

VeriQC uses two probes in the operating room. One probe is for epicardial imaging and the other probe is for transit time blood flow measurement. According to DCVAMC’s Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Gregory Trachiotis, “The VeriQC system is an essential quality control tool used before and during coronary artery bypass procedures. This helps plan our revascularization strategy to ensure a more precise and complete revascularization”.

The tool also allows the surgeon to view anastomosis or search for intramycardial vessels which makes surgery quicker and thereby reducing the amount of time the patient is under an anesthetic.

The second probe measures the volume of blood flow and resistance to flow in real-time. This enables the surgeon to evaluate the success of the revascularization while the patient is still on the operating table.

The Providence VA Medical Center’s new “Center of Excellence for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology” (CfNN) is a major asset for brain science research funded with $900,000 per year for five years from the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service.

CfNN is a collaboration combining the talents of the Providence VA Medical Center, Brown Institute for Brain Science at Brown University, Butler Hospital, Lifespan, and Massachusetts General Hospital to advance and translate new therapies and technologies to restore function in disorders of major interest to veterans. These disorders include spinal cord injuries, limb loss, strokes, PTSD, pain, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

The Center combines a Clinical Research Support Core with a Neuroimaging Core to support research and development in four focus areas:

  • Development of brain computer interfaces for people with paralysis or limb loss
  • Prosthetic limb evaluation and translation to use
  • Robotic and imaging-guided neurorehabilitation technology and testing
  • Neuromodulation technology for neurorehabilitation in pain, depression, and PTSD