Last month, St George’s Hospital – one of the biggest in the UK – opened their new hi-tech Hybrid Operating Theater, where state of the art imaging could mean less invasive surgery and safer procedures for patients.
The theater, on the first floor of St James wing, is equipped with a high-tech angiography system. The system’s unique mobile platform brings all the power of a fixed imaging system to the table, where small body parts such as veins and arteries can be visualized and used to guide surgeons, yet it can be moved aside, so multi-disciplinary teams can complete procedures comfortably, with unobstructed access to patients.
With the help of this new technology, medical equipment like catheters or stents can then be inserted through small holes rather than the patient undergoing more invasive surgery. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, non-surgical interventions can help improve recovery and shorten hospital stay. If the less invasive route is not successful, surgeons can convert to open surgery under one anesthetic in a safe theater environment.
Matt Thompson, Professor of Vascular Surgery at St George’s said: “It’s a very exciting development for the trust to have a first-class, safe, environment that combines an operating theater with an interventional radiology suite. The new treatment options have the potential to enhance patient care and shorten recovery times, reducing the overall cost of treatment.”
Renate Wendler, Associate Medical Director and clinical lead for the project said: “The development of the Hybrid Theater was a real group effort. I’d like to thank all staff who worked incredibly hard to make it happen.”
The hospital’s new hybrid suite will be used primarily for vascular surgery and interventional radiology procedures, but has the potential to be used for other specialties such as major trauma or cardiology/cardiac surgery.