The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04 15
New device preventing hair loss in
cancer patients on the Sunshine Coast
Cancer patients now have access to a scalp-cooling device at Sunshine Coast University Private
Hospital, which may help to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy treatment.
The technology reduces the flow of chemotherapy drugs
to the scalp area, decreasing hairlessness in up to 80%
Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital CEO Oliver Steele
said: “Our first patient has completed her initial eight-week
chemotherapy cycle using the scalp-cooling machine, and
that particular patient has been fortunate to retain her hair.”
Patients are fitted with a specialised cooling cap half an
hour before their chemotherapy infusion starts and they
keep it on 90 minutes after it is finished.
The cap immediately reduces the temperature of the scalp
by a few degrees, which cuts blood flow to the hair follicles,
preserving the hair.
Medical oncologist, Dr Michelle Morris, said: “It gives
patients a better self-image and a better sense of normality,
so particularly for patients who still want to work throughout
their treatment, it means they can do so without feeling
The treatment has only become widely available in Australia
in the past three years, and significant developments have
been made to ensure more comfort for patients.
“We were aware of patients travelling interstate to access
scalp-cooling, so we wanted to give them more options
closer to home,” Mr Steele said.
Most cancer patients are able to access the scalp-cooling
technology, but it has shown to have particular success with
women and men diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The drugs used to treat breast cancer patients universally
cause hair loss and the scalp-cooling is particularly effective
in reducing the amount of hair loss,” Dr Morris said.
Two patients can use the scalp-cooling machine at any
one time. The machine adds to the wide range of surgical
services currently available at Sunshine Coast University
Private Hospital’s oncology unit.
for sleep studies
The Sleep Studies Unit at Figtree Private
Hospital has been recognised by Australia’s peak
accreditation body, the National Association of
Testing Authorities (NATA).
NATA accreditation recognises and promotes the
competence of facilities to carry out specific types of
testing, offering patients quality assurance.
Figtree Private Hospital CEO, David Crowe, said the
recognition signalled an important and prestigious
milestone for the unit.
“Not only have we been doing this for 25 years, but the
hoops that you have to jump through to achieve this
accreditation add a great amount of importance to the
studies we provide,” Mr Crowe said.
The accreditation process was extremely involved and took
the hospital three years to complete. Staff were required
provide a full list of unit protocols, before NATA staff
conducted an inspection of the site.
Sleep Studies Unit Director, Dr Terry Sands, said: “They
measure equipment and protocols for every circumstance,
staffing arrangements, forms, education, mentoring – every
part of medical practice you can think of from a medical and
administrative point of view.”
Figtree Private’s sleep studies unit has seen more than
30,000 paediatric and adult patients during more than
25 years of operating.
The unit is run by a highly experienced multidisciplinary
team of specialists and surgeons, who provide a full service,
from investigations through to surgery.
“The primary thing we look at is sleep apnoea. There are
some other diseases including periodic limb movement
disorder, which is the jerking of limbs during sleep, and
narcolepsy, causing excessive day time sleepiness,”
Dr Sands said.
Ophthalmology service opens for patients at
Noosa residents now have access to private ophthalmology services at Noosa Hospital following the arrival of
two new surgeons.
Dr Kristopher Rallah-Baker and Dr Madeleine Adams provide
a wide range of procedures including cataract surgery and
minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.
Noosa Hospital has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars
in state-of-the-art equipment including a new phaco machine
for cataract surgery and surgical beds to modernise and
streamline patient care.
Facility manager Shane Mitchell said it has been a pleasure
to support the commencement of a comprehensive
ophthalmology service at the hospital.
“We are fortunate to have two committed ophthalmologists
providing onsite clinics and surgery. We look forward to
working with them to support the growth of the ophthalmology
service,” Mr Mitchell said.
It is estimated several hundred private patients will benefit from
the new service every year.
Dr Kristopher Rallah-Baker said: “Noosa Hospital’s
investment in the latest equipment means we can provide a
comprehensive general ophthalmology service.”
“There is excellent access to the clinic for patients with
wheelchairs, the patient experience with the new theatre
equipment and patient flow has been excellent, and the staff
are friendly and caring,” Dr Rallah-Baker said.
“I live up here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast and will
continue to increase clinic and theatre space as the practice
grows with the community.”
Dr Madeleine Adams said: “We have brand new ophthalmic
machines that allow high resolution imaging and
measurements of the eye.”
“Noosa Hospital has ensured that the operating theatres are
fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment to allow us to provide a
top-notch surgical service. It has been such a pleasure working
here; everybody has been so welcoming,” Dr Adams said.