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August 20, 2010 > Top Hat Dinner Dance Supports Leading-Edge Technology

Top Hat Dinner Dance Supports Leading-Edge Technology

New Equipment Will Help Physicians Ability to Save Lives

Imagine being able to remove a blood clot in the brain through a small incision in the thigh. Sound like science fiction? Actually it's leading-edge technology that will make it possible for Washington Hospital physicians to perform a number of minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is planning to open a Biplane Cath Lab with the help of proceeds from this year's Top Hat Dinner Dance.

"The new equipment will allow physicians to get a higher-resolution, three-dimensional image so they can get a better view of what is going on inside the body," said Ash Jain, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of the Washington Hospital Cardiovascular Institute. "This new technology will significantly improve our ability to save lives."

Each year the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation holds the Top Hat Dinner Dance in October to help raise funds for equipment or services that will improve patient care. New technological advances like the Biplane Cath Lab can significantly improve patient outcomes, but they are typically very expensive. In past years, the Top Hat event has supported advances like the Gamma Knife and a surgical microscope. This year's event will be held on Saturday, October 9, on the grounds of Washington West.

"Our goal for the Top Hat event is to raise $100,000 toward the purchase of the new Biplane Cath Lab equipment," said Angus Cochran, executive director of the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation.

Advanced Interventional Procedures

Cath lab technology allows specially trained interventionalists to reach the heart and other parts of the body through a catheter or small tube inserted into an artery in the leg. While cath lab technology is already in use at Washington Hospital, the Biplane Cath Lab allows for more advanced interventional techniques. It uses two sources of x-ray, which offers a clearer picture, making it possible to do more complex procedures, according to Cochran.

"It's absolutely amazing what surgeons will be able to do with the new equipment," Cochran said. "Orthopedic surgeons will even be able to use it to repair ruptured vertebrae."

The Biplane Cath Lab will improve patients' chances of surviving a stroke or brain aneurism because it can be used to quickly remove a blood clot in the brain without traditional brain surgery or shore up the weakened walls of an artery to prevent an aneurism from bursting. It will also be used to perform minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement surgery.

"This new technology will enable Washington Hospital radiologists, cardiologists, and surgeons to perform a number of leading-edge procedures," Dr. Jain said. "These new techniques are much less invasive for the patient, so that means faster recovery times, fewer complications and better outcomes. It's the future of medicine."

For more information about the Top Hat Dinner Dance or to purchase tickets, call the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation at (510) 791-3428. For more information about the Foundation, visit and click on "Giving & Volunteering."

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