Hybrid Operating Rooms: New Home to Many Heart & Vascular Operations

Just as a hybrid car can handle multiple power systems, a hybrid OR can handle multiple types of heart and vascular surgery. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Christopher Cunningham, M.D. describes a hybrid OR and lists.

Here are highlights of Dr. Cunningham’s comments:

The Hybrid OR is a very large space, because sometimes we have several health professionals working in the room simultaneously.

From a surgeon’s viewpoint, I have many patients who could easily undergo an open operation. But in the field of cardiovascular disease, we have patients who are frail — patients, who cannot undergo traditional open surgery. The ability to provide a cure for their health concern through a minimally invasive approach — through a “needle stick” approach — allows us to provide therapy for people who before, with no option for surgical repair, would simply have deteriorated.

Patients benefit with a facility like this. Very complicated procedures can be completed in a shorter amount of time, by having all the imaging technology and surgical equipment needed in one location and the ability to use it simultaneously.

We can also perform procedures with smaller or no incisions, reducing the discomfort of surgery. Plus, the possibility of infection is greatly diminished. There are various different types of cases, where we might have to approach the problem from different directions. A room like this allows us to do that.

For patients, it means that what was done a decade ago — where they would spend two days in an intensive care unit, a week in the hospital and two months recovering at home — now frequently can be completed as a same-day surgery with them back swinging a golf club in three or four days.

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