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Unique camera detects heart disease

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RUSTY WELLER
Ellis County Press Managing Editor
FERRIS - Ellis County residents no longer need to drive to Dallas for SPECT nuclear cardiology. The unique heart-care equipment now is available at the Ferris Heart Center.

The SPECT camera, which gets its name from single photon emission computed tomography, is a first for the county in specialized heart care. The highly specialized equipment, licensed by the state, performs stress tests on patients with suspected heart disease.

'It's pretty unique,' said Dr. Fred Maese, who put Dr. Steve Vu at the controls in adding the nuclear cardiology program to his existing facility. 'It's an extremely safe, non-invasive and accurate technology.

'The new equipment gives us excellent results to determine if someone has heart disease,' Dr. Maese said. 'Time-tested world wide, it's now at your front door.

'It's fortunate the county now has such an experienced and capable man,' he said of Dr. Vu, who already has the elaborate camera in use at the Ferris Heart Center, 210 W. Sixth St.. 'Not just anybody can do it. The unique equipment takes special training and licensing.'

Medicare, Medicaid and all major insurance companies approve SPECT camera tests, Dr. Maese said.

Dr. Vu said he jumped at the chance to bring the camera and service to Ellis County. 'We're fortunate to have a board-certified cardiologist like Dr. M to interpret the results.'

Together, the two doctors expect to get the most from the new equipment. Dr. Vu has 10 years of experience in nuclear medicine technology at Methodist Hospital in Houston, while Dr. Maese developed extensive expertise at interpreting camera results at Baylor College of Medicine Hospital.

The SPECT camera's ability is not just limited to testing hearts, they said. Ferris Heart Center plans call for using the equipment to test other vital organs, such as bones, thyroids and kidneys. 

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