Revolutionary cancer treatments and other innovative therapies are now available closer to home with the opening of a new interventional radiology suite at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“A cancer diagnosis can be frightening and it’s so important that services are in place to help people with treatment so they can get better,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The new interventional radiology suite at Surrey Memorial Hospital along with the cancer treatment centre planned for the new Surrey Hospital means people will get the compassionate care they need.”

“We now have state-of-the-art equipment to perform minimally-invasive procedures with greater precision and less exposure to radiation for our patients and staff,” says Dr. Behrang Homayoon, lead for the interventional radiology program at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“Patients arriving in the morning with cancerous tumours are leaving tumour-free a few hours later thanks to new technology and our skilled staff and medical staff, including interventional radiologists, technologists and nurses. This is also made possible by our partners the BC Cancer Agency and donors to the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.”

The Province, Fraser Health and the Surrey Hospitals Foundation collaborated on the $4.1 million project. An anonymous donor contributed $2 million for a Philips Azurion image-guided therapy platform – the technical brains of the suite – while additional donors helped kick-start the oncology program with microwave ablation and cryoablation machines. (Microwave ablation uses high heat to destroy tumours while cryoablation freezes tumours with an “ice ball” inserted through a tiny needle.)

“We are grateful for the generosity of our community and pleased to work in partnership with them to provide innovative new technology closer to home,” says Dr. Victoria Lee, President & CEO, Fraser Health.

”Charitable giving is improving the health of the residents of our region,” says Jane Adams, President & CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to the residents of our community and all of our donors who supported the interventional radiology program at Surrey Memorial Hospital.”

Interventional radiology is a rapidly-evolving area of medicine that uses imaging technology including X-Ray, CT scans and ultrasound guidance to steer needles, wires and catheters into small incisions in the skin and through blood vessels to treat an array of conditions including vascular, urologic, gynecologic and musculoskeletal. Minimally invasive procedures are used in emergency settings, as well, to treat life-threatening embolisms and internal bleeding. The benefits include: less discomfort and pain, shorter recovery times and reduced radiation exposure for both patients and staff.

People of all ages – particularly seniors at risk of complications from conventional surgery – are benefitting from interventional radiology. More than 19,000 interventional radiology procedures were done in Fraser Health last year and the demand is growing.

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