Medical Firsts

Virginia Mason has pioneered a number of new treatments and innovations in the Pacific Northwest, including:

  • Virginia Mason is the first in the Pacific Northwest to use the transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) vascular procedure to treatment carotid artery disease, 2016.
     
  • Virginia Mason is one of the first organizations in the region to offer a new gastric balloon weight loss treatment option for obese adults, 2016 .
     
  • Virginia Mason is the first in the region with a new ultrasound system, called the Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS), for cancer screening of dense breast tissue, 2014.
     
  • Virginia Mason is the first in the Pacific Northwest to use non-invasive FibroScan technology to evaluate disease stage in patients diagnosed with liver ailments, 2013.
     
  • The Hip Preservation Program at Virginia Mason is the first in the Pacific Northwest to offer a multidisciplinary approach to hip care, preservation and treatment for patients at every stage of life, 2012.
     
  • The first medical center in Washington state to offer intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) to treat women with early stage breast cancer, 2012.
     
  • The first medical center on the West Coast to offer isolated limb infusion (ILI) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer, 2010.
     
  • The first non-profit hospital to implement a 100 percent staff influenza immunization goal and a fitness for duty requirement as an important patient safety effort to save lives, 2005.
     
  • The first medical center in the Pacific Northwest to offer a drive thru influenza immunization clinic, 2005.
     
  • Participated in the first human islet transplant in the Pacific Northwest, resulting from the work of a citywide consortium including Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, the Pacific Northwest Research Institute, Swedish Hospital, University of Washington, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and Puget Sound Blood Center, 2002.
     
  • First in state to use da Vinci™ robotically-assisted surgical system for radical prostatectomies and coronary artery bypass surgeries, 2001.
     
  • First bilateral cochlear implant surgery in the Pacific Northwest, 2001.
     
  • First in state to use Capsule Endoscopy, 2001.
     
  • First in the Northwest to use LIFE-Lung Fluorescence Endoscopy in early detection of lung cancer in high-risk patients, 1997.
     
  • First in the region to use the Mammotome biopsy system for early detection and treatment of breast cancer, 1996.
     
  • First use of teleradiology to treat off-site patients, 1995.
     
  • First lithotripsy to treat kidney stones, 1985.
     
  • First inner ear implant operation in this region, 1980.
     
  • First in Northwest to use insulin pump for diabetes, 1980.
     
  • First use of electromagnetic imaging, 1974.
     
  • First cobalt cancer therapy, 1957.
     
  • First deep therapy X-ray, 1923.
     
  • First hospital west of the Mississippi to give electrocardiogram, 1927.
     
  • First in the region to form a school for patients with diabetes and for insulin use, 1925.
     
  • First to use insulin to treat diabetes west of the Mississippi River, 1923.