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Central Texas Medical Center: News

CTMC's new PET/CT technology on par with MD Anderson
SAN MARCOS, TX - Through Central Texas Medical Center’s (CTMC) new affiliation with Northern Shared Medical Services, Inc. (SMS), the hospital will offer more advanced PET/CT scans on an expanded basis beginning Oct. 4. The PET/CT services will now be available by a mobile unit to the facility every Thursday at the hospital’s main campus by appointment.

The new device is a 16-slice CT scan that offers 3-D, high-definition images that can detect a lesion of 2-3 millimeters versus the 6-7 millimeter lesion that was the standard of the previous PET/CT technology available. This caliber of imaging equipment is used in top-notch facilities such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center. PET/CT can detect certain diseases at an earlier stage, providing valuable information that is incorporated into the treatment plan for the specific disease.

“CTMC is delighted to bring this much higher level of PET/CT technology to our community,” said CTMC CEO/President Sam Huenergardt. “PET/CT increases the accuracy of diagnostic imaging and has great potential to provide useful information for patients and physicians.”

PET/CT is utilized in the detection and treatment of cancer to determine the location and extent of tumor growth and in neurology to aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, brain tumors, and seizures. PET/CT is also used in Cardiology to determine the viability of the heart. During each study, a patient is administered a small amount of a short-lived radioactive material (F-18 FDG) that resembles a naturally occurring sugar used by the body. The material is detected by the PET/CT scanner and shows, in detail, the location of disease, which take up an abnormal amount of the substance.

The new PET/CT equipment is part of CTMC’s ongoing commitment to stay on the leading edge of emerging health care technology. In recent years, the hospital has made the following strides in technology:

• In August 2010, CTMC joined the elite ranks of 5 percent of hospitals in the United States with the launch of Computerized Prescriber Order Entry (CPOE), which is the latest phase of electronic medical record (EMR) technology.

• In March 2011, the hospital purchased a GE Essential Digital Mammography System, offering the high quality imaging required for early breast cancer detection.

• In 2011, CTMC became the first hospital in Hays County to offer a fully interactive mobile phone application for iPhone and Android devices. MyCTMC allows users to reach their physician in an instant, view events at CTMC, follow the latest CTMC news and more.

• This year, Live Oak Health Partners, CTMC’s primary and specialty care physician group, began offering balloon sinuplasty surgery to provide relief for severe allergies. The endoscopic procedure uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to enlarge sinus passageways and can typically be conducted in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia.

• In May 2012, the first da Vinci robotic surgery procedure was completed at CTMC. More than 50 gynecological, urological and general surgical cases have been completed robotically to date. The hospital is the first in Hays County to invest in a da Vinci surgery suite, making CTMC the only operating room between Austin and San Antonio to offer robotic surgery.

For more information about the new PET/CT system or to order a study, please call (512) 753-3661.

About CTMC
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.

CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.
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