Thanks to an anonymous foundation that enjoys supporting feline-focused needs, a donation was recently made to the hospital to purchase a state-of-the-art fluoroscopy unit for the Cardiology Service. The OEC 9900 Elite Mobile C-arm (with an advanced cardiac package) will soon replace a similar unit the hospital has been using for more than 15 years.

The equipment supports interventional cardiology procedures by providing live motion radiology observed by the cardiologists to help guide them intraoperatively during surgeries. The use of “live x-rays” is also being utilized by UC Davis’ Soft Tissue Surgery Service to guide surgeons minimally invasively through the body. This cutting-edge technology has made surgeries quicker and safer, and in some cases, offered viable surgical intervention where there were previously no treatment options.

This new fluoroscopy unit provides better quality imaging with higher resolution and adaptability for cardiovascular imaging than the previous version. These images are now more readily imported into hospital servers for easier consultation with other specialists who may be in another part of the hospital. Finally, the unit provides improved radiation safety for the veterinarians, technicians, and students in the operating room.

Some of the procedures most commonly performed to fix congenital heart defects using this equipment include: placement of pacemakers, balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonic stenosis, and closure of patent ductus arteriosus – a vessel that allows blood to skip circulation to the lungs.

The Cardiology Service routinely performs advanced interventional cardiac therapies on many species of animals, not just cats and dogs. Recently, the service used the fluoroscopy unit to place a pacemaker in a donkey and perform an angiogram study on a parrot.

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