Already facing a series of complicated surgeries, the last thing little Aleksander Fish needs is high doses of radiation from his CT scans, which is Dr. Randall Fotuna says is a common concern for patients who need medical images.
“It is very important when we are talking about CT scanning is the dose of radiation they get because there are risks involved with the doses of radiation,” Dr. Fotuna said.
“And oftentimes what we have had to do in the past is bring an anesthesiologist in and put them under general anesthesia," Dr. Fotuna said.
Those were major concerns for Aleksander's parents.
“It is definitely scary,” says Michael Fish, Aleksander's dad. “And he gets X-rayed almost every day.”
But because Aleksander was born without a pulmonary artery, and with a complicated network of blood vessels around his heart, imaging is essential.
“Because he wasn't born with that connection, between his heart and his lungs, we need to understand how to create that connection,” explains Dr. Fortuna.
So to get an accurate picture, while minimizing the risks, Dr. Fortuna is using a new, highly advanced CT scanner.
"It is actually two CT scanners in one that are rotating in opposite directions,” he says. ”So in a fraction of a second, like the blink of an eye, we were able to get images with radiation exposure less than a single chest X-ray.”
The scans are so detailed, doctors can take the two-dimensional image and build a 3D model. Technology, his parents say, is both exciting and reassuring,
“That was amazing, seeing his blood vessels almost the exact size that they are,” says Michael.
What that means for Aleksander is doctors can now map out an exact plan, with less risk both before and during surgery, says Dr. Fortuna.
“Now we understand where these vessels are going into the lung, and where they are originating from," he said.
“It makes me glad we live in the age we do. Because it gives him the best chance to survive,” smiles Aleksander's dad.
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