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New gamma camera at Wrexham Maelor Hospital will help speed-up diagnosis


Patients will benefit from a quicker and more detailed scanner that is set to be installed at Wrexham Maelor Hospital later this year. 

The gamma camera is an imaging device which scans parts of the body, including most major organs such as the brain, lungs and bones. The new state-of-the-art camera, which is replacing an old imaging device, has faster scan times, clearer images, and a lower radiation dose, which will overall help speed-up patient diagnosis 

The gamma camera is typically used to help radiographers investigate and monitor after treatment, a range of diseases, including such conditions as cancer, arthritis, lung clots and kidney function, and is an incredibly sensitive method of diagnostic imaging.  

Prior to being scanned, patients are injected with a radioactive isotope, which is left to travel through the body, then reaching the area of investigation to be highlighted by the scanner. 

David Jones, Principal Radiographer, for Nuclear Medicine and PET-CT, said: “We have three Nuclear Medicine departments within the Health Board one at each general hospital, and currently the radiology department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, is having a major upgrade. 

“Nuclear Medicine is a particular type of medical imaging, where radioactive injections are followed to specific organs within the body, using a special scanner called a SPECT-CT (gamma camera). Although our previous scanner served us well for many years, we have been fortunate to secure funding for a modern replacement, including an update of the current suite. 

“When the new scanner is up and running at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, patients will benefit from faster scan times, sharper images, lowered radiation dose, greater reliability and a more pleasant environment. 

“Due to unforeseen circumstances there has been a delay in installing the new gamma camera, but our remaining scanners at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd have been able to continue serving patients from the Wrexham area, with staff from Wrexham supporting the other departments. Therefore, we urge anyone invited to have a scan at one of these hospitals to please attend so we can keep the waiting list as low as possible, and move forward with care and treatment.” 

The new scanner is part of a multi-million-pound equipment replacement programme that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is carrying out within the Radiology service across North Wales, which includes X-ray rooms, scanners and ultrasound machines.