Our $3 million purpose-built hybrid theatre combines the advantages of an operating theatre with image quality produced in a radiology suite. A hybrid operating theatre allows a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, radiologists and surgeons to effectively and efficiently treat complex vascular diseases. St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital was one of the first private hospitals in Queensland to open a hybrid theatre.
The key infrastructure in our hybrid theatre is the C-arm, a flexible imaging system suspended from the ceiling. The C-arm can be moved over or under any part of the patient delivering three dimensional, high definition on-the-spot imaging. It can take everything from X-rays to CT scans and during an operation or procedure, surgeons can observe the progress and accuracy of their work in real-time on monitors in the theatre.
The benefits of a hybrid theatre include:
• a potential reduction in a patient’s hospital stay and costs because radiology and minimally invasive and major surgical procedures can be done in one place without the need for transfers.
• the ability for surgeons to safely convert to an open surgical procedure after starting an endovascular case if a problem occurs. C-arm screening provides convenient and high quality imaging superior to portable systems commonly used in non-hybrid environments.
• a collaborative multidisciplinary process and efficient use of staff and equipment.
Why hybrid theatres are crucial to the health of an ageing population.
With the average age of a patient seeing vascular surgeons increasing, minimally invasive vascular surgery is vital. Major surgical procedures can hugely impact on an elderly person’s independence such as getting up and out of bed on their own, going to the bathroom and doing shopping. Loss of independence puts elderly patients at risk of a prolonged recovery. The hybrid operating suite is an important element to faster recovery as it allows the combined open and endovascular treatment of difficult pathologies to occur at the same time.
Vascular disease and surgery
An increase in obesity, Type II diabetes and an ageing population has contributed to the increase in vascular disease among Australians. The vascular system is our body’s internal highway made up of arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to body parts and organs and veins that transport blood back to the heart. Problems along this vast network of blood vessels can cause vascular disease.
Vascular disease affects the entire body and includes stroke, peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), critical limb ischemia (CLI), pulmonary embolism (blood clots), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), and varicose veins.
Vascular surgery focuses on diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins. Techniques include medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction.
What is endovascular surgery?
Endovascular surgery is an innovative, less invasive procedure used to treat problems affecting the blood vessels, such as an aneurysm, a swelling of the blood vessel and peripheral artery disease. Basic techniques involve the introduction of a catheter percutaneously into a large blood vessel that is typically the femoral artery or a vein found near the groin.
The surgery for aortic aneurysm repair involves making a small incision near each hip to access the blood vessels. Stainless steel self-expanding stents are inserted through the arteries in a catheter, and positioned inside the aorta. It is a safer procedure with faster recovery time than major abdominal surgery. The stent remains permanently in the artery.