Life-saving heart technology comes to Halifax hospital

Jim Woodhead pictured with the life-saving technology and Calderdale Royal's Dr Jeremy Butts
Jim Woodhead pictured with the life-saving technology and Calderdale Royal's Dr Jeremy Butts

Cutting edge technology is helping heart disease patients in Halifax.

Diamond coated drill technology, previously only available in Leeds, is treating patients at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Earlier this month, the first patients underwent coronary rotablator technology to treat heart disease which could not be tackled using standard procedures.

Coronary rotablation treats hardened narrowings in blood vessels which are unresponsive to the standard procedure of using a balloon to open the artery.

The procedure involves delivering a tiny spinning burr coated with diamond dust into the blood vessel to ‘core’ out the centre of the narrowing.

The procedure can be performed from both the groin and the wrist with local anaesthetic and it can be the only treatment option for some patients with challenging coronary disease.

Van driver Jim Woodhead, 58, of Huddersfield, was among the first patients to undergo the procedure – and 24 hours later he was at home.

Awake throughout and watching it live on a screen, he said: “It was amazing. I can’t thank the team enough for giving me a longer life. The care has been second to none from talking me through the procedure to afterwards.”

Jim was diagnosed with angina last year - his arteries were very seriously blocked. A first attempt to get a balloon and stent through was unsuccessful so rotablation became the only option.

“I could only feel a little something throughout it all but nothing to be scared of.”

An expected 30 patients a year are due to undergo the procedure.

Dr Jeremy Butts said: “We are delighted that patients can now receive this treatment locally. Although it is only required in a small number of people, for them it can make all the difference.”