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Hybrid Operating Theatres could lower costs and improve patient care

St George’s Hospital – one of the biggest in the UK – has opened its new hi-tech Hybrid Operating Theatre, where state of the art imaging could mean less invasive surgery and safer procedures for patients.

The theatre, on the first floor of St James wing, is equipped with GE Healthcare’s Discovery™ IGS 740 angiography system. The Discovery’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 visualised 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 minimising 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 anaesthetic in a safe theatre 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 theatre 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 Theatre 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 specialities such as major trauma or cardiac surgery.