Herstmonceux woman is first patient to use £1m brain scanner


A woman from Herstmonceux has become the first patient to be treated with a £1 million machine designed to help people with potentially life-threatening brain conditions.

Angela Webster suffered a brain aneurysm and treatment using the new, state-of-the-art machine was put to her as a possible option.

She said: “Before the operation, all the risks were explained upfront and I was a little bit frightened, but I couldn’t have been treated better even if I was in a five-star hotel.”

Ms Webster, who is said to be recovering well, was treated by threading tiny tubes through her body from the groin to the brain and then filling the aneurysm with small platinum coils.

She added: “Everything that was happening to me was explained clearly every step of the way. Everyone was so kind and I cannot thank them enough.”

The scanner, known as a neurointerventional bi-plane system, produces highly-detailed, three-dimensional views of blood vessels within the brain to help the diagnosis and treatment of patients with stroke, blood clots, brain and neck tumours, and other neurological conditions.

The machine offers a less invasive way of treating some abnormalities of the blood vessels in the brain than surgery. The Neurointerventional Team treat up to three patients a day who have been referred from all over the South East.

The equipment can also be used to remove clots from an artery in the brain in patients who have suffered a stroke and to reduce blood flow to tumours prior to an operation.

The Neurosurgery Team moved from the Princess Royal Hospital site in Haywards Heath to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where they now play a vital role in the Major Trauma Centre.

The purchase of the bi-plane machine was timed to ensure they have the most up to date equipment in their new facility in Brighton, which is one of only 22 neurosurgical units in England.

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital working across two sites: the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. The Brighton campus includes the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Sussex Eye Hospital.

It provides District General Hospital services to residents in and around Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex and the western part of East Sussex, and more specialised and tertiary services for patients across Sussex and the south east of England.

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