Cardiologists perform procedures live to national conference

Four cardiologists from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have performed operations which were live streamed to hundreds of healthcare professionals meeting at a conference in London.

The Advanced Cardiovascular Intervention conference is held in London over three days every January. It is run by the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS) and is the largest training conference of its kind in the UK.

Throughout the conference healthcare professionals discussed heart procedures carried out by cardiologists, including angioplasty, which is a procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed blood vessels supplying the heart muscle. Traditionally these were carried out using metal stents to keep the blood vessels open. At NNUH patients are also offered the option of angioplasty using a drug coated balloon, without the need for a stent.

Consultant Cardiologist Simon Eccleshall explains: “We’ve been slightly ahead of the game for about ten years with a particular way of doing angioplasty, using a drug coated balloon rather than inserting a metal stent into the blood vessel. Over the last few years there’s been a lot of interest in it, and as experts in this field we were asked to be the centre to showcase this type of procedure. It’s the first time we’ve been asked to perform operations live for a national meeting.”

The team transmitted operations on a number of patients from two of NNUH’s catheter labs. Their information was kept anonymous, but the patients gave their informed consent for the drug coated balloon therapy and to having their cases viewed and discussed by the audience. Those in attendance included consultant and trainee cardiologists and other Allied Healthcare Professionals including physiologists, radiographers and nurses.

Dr. Eccleshall added: “The advantage of using the drug coated balloon is that you’re not putting something permanent into a patient long term. The procedure is also less complicated, and it may be safer because you don’t need to give blood thinners for so long. It was great to showcase that you can have good outcomes without using complicated implants.”

Dr. Bernard Brett, Interim Medical Director at NNUH, said: “It is good to see that our Cardiologists’ work to help advance treatments for patients has been recognised with this request to demonstrate this technique to a national audience of specialists. I am also pleased to see the work they have done publishing outcome data in important medical journals and in improving consent for patients.”

Back to the Media Centre