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Australian-first technology the key to safer surgery on Sunshine Coast


TSCPH theatre opp v2_lowresHollywood technology new to Australian hospitals is doing more than simply thrilling movie goers – it is enabling surgeons at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital to operate with greater precision and accuracy.

In an Australian first, the hospital at Buderim has installed a system of ultra high-definition (4k) imaging equipment in its operating theatres which give its surgeons the world’s highest levels of detail and contrast for a greatly enhanced surgical experience.

The million dollar system offers four times the resolution of the conventional high definition screens surgeons use and 64 times as many colours.

Sunshine Coast orthopaedic surgeon Dr George Parker said there was a huge difference between current imagery and the 4k pictures.

“The clarity, contrast and colour are far better and there is a greater depth of field,” Dr Parker said.

“You can more easily differentiate between different tissues and ligaments. This is incredibly important as greater resolution is directly related to better patient outcomes. During surgery, just a few millimetres can make a big difference,” he said.

“In most cases, the provision of these extremely high resolution images will also enable surgeons to reduce patient surgery times, potentially resulting in the patient experiencing less trauma and bleeding,” he said.

The 4k camera system was supplied by Australian-owned company Device Technologies. The technology was installed in the hospital’s theatres in October 2016 and more than 50 procedures have already been conducted using 4k imaging.

Other Australian hospitals have also purchased the equipment and are in the process of installing and implementing the technology. The system is already being utilised in hospitals in New Zealand, the United States of America and Europe.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Bernard Tamba-Lebbie said it was only a matter of time before this technology was adopted around the world as best-practice.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the 4k system is the future of image-guided surgery in Australia and around the world,” Dr Tamba-Lebbie said.

The latest James Bond movie – Spectre – was made using 4k, as well as Mad Max: Fury Road. To get a better understanding of how advanced the technology is, 4k offers four-times the resolution of the current 1080p Blu-ray discs.

“I am extremely proud this Hollywood technology is not just available to excite cinema goers but is actually making a positive difference to the lives of patients right here on the Sunshine Coast,” Dr Tamba-Lebbie said.

Wallis Westbrook, The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital General Manager, said the non-profit hospital continues to invest in new technology to provide the highest level of care to Sunshine Coast patients and the community.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this breakthrough new service and continue our long commitment of providing leading-edge, quality and trusted healthcare services to the region,” Mr Westbrook said.

“The introduction of this technology will further support and strengthen the hospital’s wide range of surgical services, especially laproscopic work including general surgery, urology, ear, nose and throat, orthopaedic, and endoscopic services," he said.

The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital has been serving the community for 35 years and is part of UnitingCare Health - one of the largest not-for-profit private hospital groups in Queensland which operates more than 1000 licensed beds across four hospitals.

Image L-R: Brendan Leslie, Dr Tamba-Lebbie, Wallis Westbrook and Steven Forster