High-tech imaging brings patients cutting-edge cancer and neurology care closer to home
Phelps Hospital has announced the opening of a new high-tech imaging suite equipped with a PET/CT scanner built by Siemens Healthineers. The $8.4 million, 3,746 square foot space exemplifies the hospital’s commitment to providing patients with Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Phelps Hospital everything they need – from diagnosis to treatment – under one roof.
The PET/CT suite includes several rooms designed to optimize patient comfort and safety – from private recording and scheduling stations to comfortable waiting areas, private patient rooms, a radiopharmaceutical hot lab, a CT room , among others. Until now, Phelps patients who needed PET scans had to travel farther and had long wait times.
“The PET/CT suite is one of the most exciting projects I have worked on in my career at Phelps,” said Eileen Egan, RN, executive director of Phelps. “It’s the missing link in the circle of care for radiology patients, who can now eliminate unnecessary travel and get the services they need right in their own backyards. When designing this space, the most important concept for us was the patient experience – their privacy, safety and comfort.
PET/CT imaging is the simultaneous use of PET and CT scans to create an advanced, comprehensive single image. PET scans use radiopharmaceuticals (tracers) that are injected intravenously and absorbed into the body. The rate of metabolic degradation of tracers in the body reveals its cellular activity. Combined with CT imaging, this enables accurate assessment of organs and tissues, as well as early detection and diagnosis of diseases and/or other conditions.
“We opened the doors to Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Phelps Hospital five years ago,” said Anna Komorowski, MD, Medical Director of Phelps Hematology and Medical Oncology. “As our services continued to grow, we knew this was a critical step for us. PET/CT is a powerful diagnostic tool in oncology with multiple applications. It helps us detect cancer, identify where it resides in the body and which area is best for biopsy. We can also better understand the patient’s prognosis, assess the effectiveness of treatment and determine if the cancer has come back.
PET/CT is used for patients with lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, neuroendocrine tumors as well as some pancreatic, colon and metastatic prostate cancers. They can also be extremely beneficial for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia and other cognitive disorders as well as epilepsy and heart patients.
“While many people who have heard of PET/CT associate it with oncological conditions, another very impactful use is for patients with cognitive impairment,” Anthony Febles, MD, Chief of Radiology at Phelps. “Having these capabilities here at Phelps is going to be instrumental in our geriatric practice. It is often extremely difficult to identify the exact cause of a patient’s dementia. PET/CT provides us with an effective modality to achieve this.”
The new sequel was funded, in part, by capital investments from Northwell Health, New York State’s largest healthcare system, as well as philanthropic contributions. One of these generous donors is Mary L. Melvina lung cancer survivor who was diagnosed and treated at Phelps.
“Phelps has something to fill every bill,” Ms. Melvin said. “We are inclined to think that only in a hospital in a big city can we find first-rate doctors. I would say, ‘You can’t beat Phelps.’ I can’t believe the care at a big city hospital could be any better than at Phelps. And here you get the love, attention and encouragement from the nurses and everyone else. Phelps is a very special place to me. Words cannot describe how blessed I feel – and I want to say “Thank You” by giving back.
For more information, visit https://phelps.northwell.edu/cancer-institute.