LifeHealthcare installs Australia’s first portable CT scanner

In an Australian first, patients at a Brisbane hospital will no longer need to be transported out of the operating theatre so that surgeons can do vital imaging crucial in the outcome of their surgery.

This has been made possible through a unique fully portable CT scanner that has been installed in Brisbane Private Hospital through the Australian supplier of the equipment LifeHealthcare.

Known as the BodyTom, the battery operated, mobile intra-operative 32-slice CT scanner provides surgeons with new capabilities during procedures. The BodyTom allows imaging to be performed in the operating room, reducing the need to transport patients to and from traditional fixed CT scanners. Images of bone, soft tissue and tumours are acquired in the exact operative position and are used for critical decision making during surgery.

The combination of portability, speed and versatility in clinical applications makes a portable intra-operative CT a highly cost-effective solution. The range of clinical applications includes cranial, spinal, ENT, head & neck, CMF, trauma, orthopaedic and vascular surgery.

Leading spinal surgeon from Brisbane Private Hospital, Dr. Paul Licina, said the BodyTom is revolutionary in its simplicity by being able to obtain higher quality images without moving the patient from the operating theatre.

“Navigation has become an integral part of my surgery where pedicle screws and other implants are used.  Compared with our previous system, the images obtained with the Bodytom are of much higher quality.  We can also image more of the spine which is useful where more than one or two levels are to be instrumented.  If there are already screws in situ, the image quality is excellent whereas before, metal artifact would mean that we would usually remove the implants before acquiring the images,” said Dr. Licina.

“One of the important advantages is the ability to obtain a high quality scan at the conclusion of the surgery while the patient is still on the operating table.  The quality of the image is diagnostic and as a surgeon I have a clear idea of what has been achieved in surgery before the patient returns to the ward."

“While the machine is portable, it is still relatively large which has meant we have had to adjust our workflow in the operating theatre to minimize any disruption, however, the high quality of the images that can be done without having to move the patient is a real advantage,” he said.

Daren McKennay, CEO of LifeHealthcare, said the introduction of this equipment by Brisbane Private Hospital demonstrates a commitment by them to bring state-of-the-art technology to help address a range of complicated diseases and provide a better outcome for patients.

“BodyTom’s ground-breaking technology will mean patients have access to the highest quality of care by enhancing patient safety and improving surgical outcomes and as such the widespread use of this equipment will become the norm rather than the exception.”

By having the capability to take additional scans during surgery, and prior to closure, surgeons are able to confirm removal of the pathology or placement of devices to exclude complications. Additionally, this last scan can mean the patient doesn’t have to come back for a check CT and avoids need for any re-operation.