New £100,000 3D heart scanner at Plymouth hospital

Surgeons said the new scanner provided "a window into the heart"

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A Plymouth hospital has a new three-dimensional heart scanner to help surgeons treat difficult heart problems.

The new equipment at Derriford Hospital will enable staff to see an accurate picture from inside the heart itself.

The British Heart Foundation and local charity HeartSWell South West have paid for the £100,000 machine.

The hospital said it would benefit hundreds of patients across Devon and Cornwall every year.

Heart 'window'

The machine uses an ultrasound device to create the detailed images. It goes into the heart after being introduced into the body through the oesophagus.

It would provide valuable information about valve and muscle function that could be important in very sick patients, the hospital said.

Consultant cardiac anaesthetist Dr Mark Bennett said that the machine would enable the cardiac team to "improve the accuracy and speed of diagnoses" and offer advanced patient care.

Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Mr Jonathan Unsworth-White, said: "The main benefit of the 3D Echo machine, for me as a surgeon, is that it allows me to have as much information as possible at the start of the operation.

"It provides me with a window into the heart."

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