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University of Utah Hospital unveils new, state-of-the-art radiology machine

Dr. Keith Quencer watches as radiology staff test out the new, state-of-the-art interventional radiology machine at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Dr. Keith Quencer watches as radiology staff test out the new, state-of-the-art interventional radiology machine at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Kyle Dunphey, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah Hospital unveiled its new, state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite on Thursday, marking the end of a yearslong process and turning a new leaf in patient care.

“We’re really excited,” said Blake Bohe, the hospital’s director of interventional radiology. “Interventional radiology is a growing field of medicine, and we’re growing department.”

The hospital is the first in the Intermountain West to have a Siemens Interventional Radiology machine, which allows doctors to conduct a wide range of minimally invasive procedures ranging from treating patients who recently suffered a stroke and need immediate care, to elective procedures or biopsies.

“It means faster recovery, it means less pain after procedure and it means less complications,” said Dr. Keith Quencer, assistant professor of interventional radiology.

While patients lay comfortably on a bed, the machine can move around them from head to toe at multiple angles. Quencer said it provides “beautiful,” real-time X-ray images, allowing doctors to see exactly where they’re putting catheters, wires and other medical equipment.

“It will allow us to treat patients in the best way possible,” he said.

Bohe told the Deseret News the new suite is a huge upgrade from the old radiology unit, an improvement she hopes will boost patient morale.

“Of course (patients) have always been in good hands,” she said, “but it’s great to provide our service in a brand-new, beautiful space.”

The new suite is also centrally located in the hospital, allowing a streamlined approach to treatment that means fewer complications for patients coming from critical care units or the emergency room.

“It’ll be more efficient, quicker access for patients,” said Bohe. “We’re not transporting them down a long hallway, so it’s fast access for them.”

With the first patient set to be accepted on Feb. 18, Bohe, Quencer and their team of 60 doctors, technologists and nurses are excited to get started.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Quencer said, “to really bring the University of Utah, our interventional radiology division and our radiology department to the to the forefront of patient care.”