MUSC Health becomes one of the few hospitals in the country with two Icono neuroendovascular suites | MUSK

There was an air of excitement among surgeons and technicians who treat life-threatening conditions such as aneurysms and strokes when MUSC Health launched its second Icono neuroendovascular suite.

“We had an Icono installed in January 2021, which is the latest iteration of an angiography machine from Siemens. At the time, we were one of five US hospitals to own Icono. We were early adopters of the technology. Now the novelty is that we have our second in adjoining side-by-side suites,” said neurosurgeon Alejandro Spiotta, MD.

“So we’re not only the only hospital in the state that has this latest technology, but we’re also one of the few in the country that currently has more than one.”

Dr. David Zaas

David Zaas, MD, CEO of MUSC Health-Charleston Division, said it will help patients across the state and beyond. “We are truly excited about this expansion of innovative technology that will enable our teams to have greater impact, saving more lives through exceptional clinical care and cutting-edge research.”

Icono’s acquisition is part of the Medical University of South Carolina’s five-year partnership with technology company Siemens Healthineers. At the time, leaders from both organizations spoke about their vision for a transformational relationship. Spiotta said the new Endovascular Suite with the second Icono is a realization of that.

He also summarized the purpose of a neuroendovascular suite. “It’s a highly specialized, high-tech procedure room that uses radiation for visualization. It’s a procedure room where we perform critical procedures like aneurysm treatments, strokes, revascularization procedures, some of the most complex, urgent and emerging procedures in the neuro space.

The Icono is an imaging machine – it allows the medical team to see inside the patient without invasive surgery. Spiotta said MUSC Health had been using an older version of the Icono for years, but it was time for an upgrade.

View through a window of a surgeon's control room into a new endovascular suite.
Neurosurgeon Alejandro Spiotta, center right, looks at images generated by the Icono to see if a recent fall has caused dangerous internal injuries to a young woman lying on an out-of-frame table on the left.

“The new Icono offers many different features that allow us to better visualize the arteries of the brain. So we can care for patients and manage complex diseases in a safer way. It’s been years of development. They have higher resolution images at lower radiation doses for the patient and staff,” Spiotta said.

“It allows us to take specialized functional images of the brain to determine if an area is salvageable or not. Then it also interfaces with the new robotics we’re using to treat patients, which holds great promise for making procedures safer and allowing us to perform procedures remotely, from afar, to extend our reach to patients.” , said Spiotta.

“In previous generations, if you wanted to get better images at critical times, when working with a sub-millimeter vessel, for example, you had to provide more radiation to get better images. Now you have better images to start with at a fraction of the radiation.

Alexandre Spiotta
Dr Alejandro Spiotta

The new device and the suite will be widely used. Spiotta’s team treats an average of five to ten patients a day. “We have a good number of scheduled surgeries, like someone with an aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured and we’re going to treat it to prevent it from rupturing in the future. But throughout the day, we also usually have several emergencies coming up. That’s why it’s so important to have the second Icono, so if one of them is blocked and we have an emergency, we can go directly to the second one.

Spiotta said the endovascular team at MUSC Health in Florence will also receive an Icono this summer for providing state-of-the-art care to patients in the Pee Dee area. “Florence and ourselves had satisfactory equipment to do the job, but this represents a very heavy investment on the part of the management of our hospital. To me, this just shows that MUSC is committed to providing the best care for our patients in the state.

Neuroendovascular technician Damian Browne agreed, speaking as he prepared the suite for his third patient on the day it opened. “The new suite is fantastic. You know, it allows us to do double at the same time with advanced technology. So we kind of continue to direct what we do. It just shows that we are ready to go much further to make things much better for everyone.

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