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New Medical Technology at GRMC – Advanced procedures expand capabilities on Guam

(Monday, May 20, 2019; Dededo, Guam) Dr. Joseph Wiedermann, Interventional Cardiologist at Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), performed the first Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging procedure ever done on Guam. “This new procedure allows us to image plaque and obstructions from inside of the artery and gives us much more anatomical detail than angiography, helping to guide medical decision-making,” said Dr. Wiedermann, GRMC’s Head of Cardiology.

The image produced by Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging is clear enough to allow Dr. Wiedermann to perform a pre-intervention study to determine which medical devices he will select based on the presence of calcium. He can also accurately measure the size of the vessel to determine the size of stent that will be inserted. After coronary stenting, the Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging can be used for post-intervention assessment to make sure the vessel is appropriately dilated, and the stent is fully expanded and apposed to the vessel wall.

Last September, Dr. Wiedermann also made medical history on Guam when he performed the island’s first rotational atherectomy. The procedure uses a medical device called a Rotablator which has a tiny diamond encrusted burr, similar to a drill bit, which spins through the artery at 150,000 RPM to remove superficial calcium from inside an artery, so a shunt or balloon can be inserted.

In April of this year, a team of GRMC doctors worked together to perform the first successful Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) on Guam. The procedure was performed to restore proper flow and pressure in the portal vein carrying blood from the GI tract to a patient’s liver and then to the heart. The TIPS procedure was performed by Neurointerventional Radiologist Dr. Scott Shay and the Cath Lab team.  Prior to the successful TIPS procedure at GRMC, most patients suffering from this type of condition did not survive.

“GRMC will continue to sharpen our edge by learning, procuring and mastering healthcare technological advancements,” said SVP/Chief Medical Officer Felix T. Cabrera, M.D., “Simply put, Dr. Wiedermann can now save the life of certain patients on Guam who might otherwise have died prematurely from a heart attack. Dr. Shay’s procedure can prevent premature death due to liver disease. The public has given GRMC it’s trust and support. It is important that they see we take that very seriously and will continue to work hard to earn that trust and support.”

GRMC is proud to continue to providing Guam with the latest medical technology and advancements to provide our community with excellent healthcare.

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