King’s has a large, active team investigating many aspects of heart disease. King’s College Hospital Charity supports the cardiology service by funding life-saving equipment and the team carrying out this vital research.
Supporting safer surgery
Our support has provided a new ultrasound scanner, which makes heart surgery safer and quicker because surgeons can reach less accessible arteries more easily.
When surgeons put devices into the heart, such as replacement valves, it’s usually done through an artery in the groin because it’s one of the biggest arteries in the body. But it’s buried deep within the upper thigh and can be hard to locate. Thanks to the new scanner, the artery can be visualised on screen.
“It’s a lot less traumatic, a lot quicker, and reduces the risk of bleeding after the procedure. Less complications mean patients get discharged earlier. This scanner is incredibly helpful and is used all the time. It’s something we wouldn’t have without the support of donations. It’s all about our philosophy of being world-class; donations are a vital component of helping us achieve that.” – Professor Mark Monaghan, director of non-invasive cardiology
Your donations have helped to fund three research fellows running a programme seeking new ways of treating heart valve disease. They are using the latest imaging techniques and 3D printing to create models of heart valves, which are then put into a special machine – also funded by donations – that simulates blood flow. Consultants can then use this method to practise surgical techniques and test which devices work best for different types of disease.
“The fellows’ work and the equipment they’re using will help us perfect clinical techniques. This funding is vital to helping generate research and clinical tools that will be used on patients one day. It also helps us to seed projects that will collect important data, meaning we can build a strong application and go to research funding organisations for large grant backing.” – Professor Mark Monaghan
As the average age of the UK population increases, so does the prevalence of heart disease. This research, and the new ultrasound scanner at King’s, means consultants can offer more minimal access treatment rather than open-heart surgery.