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Press Release

Next generation scanner could greatly improve the life chances of many patients

23 February 2022

An amazing next generation scanner – the 3D ‘Cone Beam’ CT scanner – has now been installed at Addenbrooke’s and seen its first patient. The scanner is part of a wider surgical planning service that helps improve outcomes for patients and has been funded by charitable donations.

The innovative new service will help:

  • Cut the duration of surgical procedures by up to 60%
  • Reduce average waiting times for surgery by many weeks
  • Reduce the need for patients to travel to other hospitals
  • Provide even greater accuracy for planning of complex facial surgery.

This is the first time the technology is being used at Addenbrooke’s, and the hospital will also be the first in the East of England to offer in-house digital 3D surgical planning that could greatly improve the life chances of many patients.

It could not only dramatically cut surgery times and transform the lives of some patients with head and neck cancer, but also assist those with facial trauma, dental problems and children born with cleft lip and palate.

The 3D surgical scanner– known as the ‘Cone Beam CT’, because of the precise cone or funnel it creates around the affected area – was funded by The ALBORADA Trust.

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s (ACT) CEO Shelly Thake said: “We’d like to thank The ALBORADA Trust for making this service possible and everyone else who donated. It will make a huge difference to so many head and neck cancer patients needing surgery at Addenbrooke’s. For some, the use of this cutting-edge technology could mean the difference between life and death.”

Jeremy Richardson, Director of The ALBORADA Trust said: “Having previously supported several 3D imaging projects at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, The ALBORADA Trust were pleased to provide funding for the ‘Cone Beam’ CT scanner, reducing surgery times by up to 60% for some patients and sparing the need for patients to travel to other hospitals for treatment. We really wanted to help dramatically cut surgery times and transform the lives of patients.”

Every day, 33 people in the UK are diagnosed with head and neck cancer. For those battling this devastating disease, surgery usually offers the best chance of survival. This type of surgery is incredibly complex and can require patients to be under general anaesthetic for nine hours or more. This brings a number of associated risks, which for some patients means surgery is not an option. The sheer length of these procedures also significantly limits the number of patients that can be treated, and this delay could mean the difference between life and death.

However, this new, highly precise scanner – combined with specialist modelling software and a 3D printer – will allow clinicians to plan complex surgery like never before, meaning operating times could be dramatically reduced.

To read more about the impact a 3D scanner could have in treating patients please visit helpyourhospital.co.uk/colinsstory to read Colin’s story.

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