Guthrie opens the region's first hybrid OR suite

Sayre, PA – Today Guthrie officials introduced a state-of-the-art $2.7 million hybrid endovascular operating room to media from throughout the region. The hybrid OR gives physicians the ability to perform endovascular procedures, minimally invasive or traditional open surgery – whichever is needed – on the same patient, at the same time, in the same room.

"We are very excited to be able to publicly share this room. It represents the new wave of the future for how physicians and surgeons will be able to use their expertise collaboratively to diagnose and treat certain illnesses or conditions," stated Joseph Scopelliti, MD, President & CEO, Guthrie Clinic.

Compared to standard operating room suites, everything about the new hybrid endovascular operating room is unexpected. At 1,200 square feet, the hybrid endovascular OR houses a large ceiling-mounted radiographic imaging C-arm that can glide over the operating table and be positioned when and where needed. Also, there are large high definition LCD screens mounted from the ceiling around the room used to display three dimensional images. Add in the sophisticated surgical technology, and it is clear this is not an ordinary OR.

The specialized design of the hybrid room combines the types of instruments and equipment needed for tradition open or minimally-invasive procedures with the power of advanced radiology imaging all in the same room. The unique set up of equipment, technology, and space in the hybrid OR allows Guthrie specialists from different disciplines to be in the same room, at the same time, working together to perform complex procedures on the same patient.

The high-resolution digital imaging capabilities – angiography, CT scans and 3D image reconstruction – in the new room provide clear and accurate visualization of small blood vessels, stents, catheters and guide wires during procedures. And, because the imaging equipment can move around the surgical table, vascular surgeons can also see images of vessels from any vantage point, including behind organs resulting in clear, real-time views of anatomical structures.

"The sophistication of the imaging technology opens up new surgical capabilities. For example, if while doing a diagnostic procedure we find that a blood vessel has more blockages that expected, we can quickly switch to minimally invasive or open surgery approach. This leads to quicker recoveries and shorter hospitalizations for patients. In this case, a patient would only undergo one procedure instead of two," adds Robert Larson, MD, Chief of Vascular Surgery. "We are now also able to perform more intricate surgeries."

Designed specifically for endovascular procedures, the new hybrid OR is already very busy. Vascular surgeons and Interventional Radiologists are using the new OR working alongside technicians and nurses to address patients' complex surgical and interventional needs.

Additionally, members of the cardiac team are working side-by side to diagnose and perform cardiovascular interventions such as catheter-based surgeries for structural heart disease, hybrid CABG PCI, minimally invasive valve surgeries and CABG. The same real-time digital imaging will provide many of the same benefits to patients with specific cardiac problems.

Guthrie is fortunate to have one of only six cardiac surgeons in the country trained to perform both interventional cardiac procedures and open heart surgery. The hybrid OR is set up to do open heart surgery as well as other cardiac procedures.

The benefits to patient are significant. Having the ability to perform state-of-the-art imaging studies in the sterile environment of the operating room eliminates the need to move patients to another location in the hospital once a procedure has started. This is safer for patients and eliminates the need for sedating patients multiple times or for longer periods of time. Additionally, having the ability to switch from minimally invasive to open procedures, if necessary, keeps the patient in the same room if the surgical team needs to change its approach.

In short, patients experience reduced risk of infection, shorter procedure time, less radiation exposure during imaging, less time in the Intensive Care Unit, shorter hospital stays, less pain, fewer complications and faster recoveries. All of this adds up to better outcomes.