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Leipzig University Hospital: High-resolution images with greatly reduced radiation doses

The “Interdisciplinary Central Endoscopy” at Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) put a new, state-of-the-art X-ray machine into operation at the end of the year. It provides high-resolution images despite low radiation doses for ERCP examinations, i.e. endoscopic procedures for X-ray-assisted examination and treatment of the bile ducts. The dose of radiation to which patients are exposed has even been halved compared to the previous model.

The old system had been in operation for twelve years. The installation of the new device took five months - with ongoing operations. An interim solution worked without restrictions for the patients.

“We took advantage of the opportunity and immediately converted the treatment room and thus ensured better working conditions,” reports Dr. Jürgen Feisthammel, Medical Director of the “Interdisciplinary Central Endoscopy” at the UKL. The image sensor of the new device is - similar to modern digital cameras - much more sensitive than the previous model. On the one hand, this allows an examination with a low radiation dose, but on the other hand, the good image resolution also allows details to be easily recognized, he explains. The investment of 1,3 million euros for equipment and conversion was completely covered by the Free State of Saxony from state funds.

After the first few weeks of working with the new X-ray machine, Dr. Feisthammel is very satisfied: “For the types of biliary tract procedures that we primarily carry out, this is the absolute top device. It fulfilled our expectations, the work is fun.” Only half of the previously required radiation dose is now necessary, emphasizes the UKL expert, “that’s good for our patients, but also good for our employees.”

Dr. Feisthammel and the endoscopy team primarily use the X-ray machine for so-called ERCP examinations. This can be used, for example, to remove bile duct stones or to treat bile duct tumors. In the latter, the bile ducts are blocked and the bile cannot flow out. Here, for example, the doctors use stents, i.e. small tubes through which the bile can flow out easily again. It is also possible to treat the tumors using lasers or high-frequency current, for example, he reports. With one to two hours of treatment per person, this means four or five patients per day with the new device.

Source: Press release University Hospital Leipzig from 27.12.2023


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