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New Interventional Nephrology Suite Benefits Patients and Providers 

Photo of Interventional Nephrology team

From left: Christine Possi, RN, IR/IN Charge Nurse, Kathy Merrigan, RN, Ambulatory Nurse Director, Dr. Adina Voiculescu, Chief of Nephrology, Dr. Dylan Kwait, Chief of Radiology, Dr. Dirk Hentschel, Rakesh Kannan, Radiology Program Manager, Brian McIntosh, Director of Radiology, and Technologist Supervisor Jeff Elwood in the new Interventional Nephrology Suite at BWFH.

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Interventional Nephrology program recently received  a major upgrade with the completion of a newly designed suite that will allow physicians to provide more efficient and higher quality care to more patients.

Interventional nephrology is the specialization of renal medicine that deals with the establishment and maintenance of dialysis access for hemo- and peritoneal dialysis.  “With increasing numbers of people on dialysis as well as patients who present with significant vascular disease, vascular access problems have become extremely common,” states Dr. Dirk Hentschel, Medical Director of the Interventional Nephrology Program.  “Vascular access is the lifeline of dialysis patients and therefore it is extremely important to maintain functional vascular access.”

According to Technologist Supervisor Jeff Elwood, this new suite offers state of the art technology that will allow staff to care for more patients, with shorter individual procedure times, while providing the highest quality of care.  Of particular note is the new ceiling, which helps cycle the room air through an advanced HEPA filtration system, to improve patient safety by reducing the risk for infection. “One of the biggest benefits is that the new equipment drastically reduces the amount of cumulative radiation received by both the patient and our staff,” says Elwood.

Among the procedures performed by the interventional nephrology team are placement, exchange, and removal of hemodialysis catheters, repositioning of peritoneal dialysis catheters, diagnostic fistulograms on hemodialysis grafts and fistulas, and angioplasties, stent placements, and thrombectomies to maintain the function of hemodialysis accesses. The superb image quality achieved by the state of the art ceiling mounted C-arm also allows the team to approach these central vein occlusions and stenoses safely that often cannot be sufficiently visualized by portable C-arm used in many other dialysis access centers.

“This new suite and the updates within it will allow physicians to provide world class care right here in a community setting,” concludes Hentschel.

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