Jan. 2, 2015 01:42 PM

The latest and greatest in health care around Acadiana

From new cancer centers to clinical trials, 2014 was a year of medical advancement throughout Acadiana. We’ve rounded up some of the year’s biggest moments in health care that run the gamut from the tiniest patient to those in congestive heart failure.

THE LITTLE GUYS

Dr. Ann Flannery, a pediatric neurosurgeon, joins the lineup at Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she performs the most delicate procedures on the tiniest of patients, from removing brain tumors to treating other neurological ailments that require surgery.

WOMEN, CHILDREN AND CANCER

The Cancer & Infusion Center for women and children opens in June at Women’s and Children’s. The center provides chemotherapy, blood transfusion and injections and IV therapies that patients formerly had to travel to New Orleans or out of state to receive.

HEART OF HEALTH

Regional Medical Center of Acadiana becomes the first hospital in Acadiana to provide a revolutionary aortic valve replacement surgery that requires only a small incision in the chest, versus the more invasive, traditional, open-heart method. Patients once thought to be inoperable now have a second chance at life and are back on their feet in days versus months.

THE REPLACEMENTS

Lafayette General Medical Center is the first in Acadiana to offer what some call the biggest orthopedic breakthrough in 25 years — MAKOplasty. The machine is a surgeon-controlled robotic system that means ultraprecise alignment and placement for implants in the knee and hip that equals less downtime and better recovery with smaller scars. (Read more about this system below.)

THE NEXT LEVEL

A new six-level parking garage and 82,000-square-foot expansion to LGMC is complete, including additions to its operating room and emergency department platforms that will likely lead to a designation as a Level 2 Trauma Center in the new year. The projects mark completion of a $52.5 million expansion and renovation plan that began two years ago.

A COMBO EFFORT

A new endoscopy tool at LGMC allows better images to diagnosis gastrointestinal ailments, combining ultrasound technology with endoscopic tools meaning local physicians can make referrals locally rather than sending patients to New Orleans.

ON TRIAL

A new host of clinical trials at LGMC offers patients newer treatment and drugs than would otherwise be available. The latest trial open is for men and women over 18 for bacterial pneumonia.

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