In a major milestone for Orange County healthcare, one of the world’s most advanced cardiac surgical suites was unveiled Monday at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.
Hoag's cardiac staff
The $6.6 million hybrid surgical suite is the first of its kind in Orange County and one of only a handful in the United States. What excites Hoag officials most is the integrated technology and hardware in the facility that will allow specialists to perform highly delicate and sophisticated surgeries with minimally invasive procedures. Older patients who are not candidates for more aggressive open heart surgeries or value replacements because of their age or condition will benefit most from the new Hoag operating facility.
“This opens up a new frontier for therapy for those who have heart attacks or cardiac issues,” said Aidan Raney, medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Hoag. “For those who have been too sick to tolerate open heart surgery we can now offer hope and relief.”
Richard Afable, Hoag’s president and CEO, said the opening of the new facility is significant for the community because it means local patients who previously had to travel outside the region or across country for this level of treatment can find it “right at home.”
Afable said the the new surgical facility has been two years in the planning and was made possible by a $2 million gift from Bob and Marjie Bennett. A former media owner and broadcast executive, Bob Bennett credits Hoag Hospital and its staff for saving his life three years ago when he developed heart-related issues.
“The best part about today is I am here to see this facility completed,” smiled Bennett as he surveyed the gleaming surgical bay filled with physicians, hospital staff, media and donors. “If this new center improves just one life, I will be very happy.”
Bob and Marjie Bennett (center) are flanked by surgeons at Hoag Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute in the new surgical suite the Bennetts helped underwrite with a $2 million gift. Total cost of the new operating room, one of the most advanced cardiac facilities in the world, is $6.6 million. High technology imaging and surgical equipment will significantly improve patient care, reduce costs, shorten hospital stays and accelerate recovery times.
The surgical suite includes a custom robotic imaging system with 3D and 4D reconstruction software, which is critical for physicians to view blood vessels, tissue and organs during cardiac surgery, angioplasty and endovascular procedures. With a single keystroke, a surgeon can view data and images from 20 different sources on a 60-inch flat screen monitor with high definition resolution that is four times higher than the normal television monitor available on the retail market, according to Siemens, the manufacturer of the imaging unit.
The cardiovascular operating room also is one of the first in the U.S. to be equipped with the new Edwards Lifesciences transcatheter technology. This makes it easier and safer to replace heart valves through minimally invasive procedures on higher risk patients. Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences just received approval from the Federal Drug Administration for its new Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve last month.
Afable said the integration of the imaging equipment and the transcatheter technology in one facility “will revolutionize care for patients in Orange County and beyond.” He acknowledged that within 2-3 years many top hospitals will offer this type of advanced treatment facilities for heart patients. “But I am proud we are among the first,” he said. “We are committed always to setting the standard for treatments and patient care.”
Hoag surgeon Jacques Kpodonu described as the surgical suite as a “one stop” treatment center for patients. Currently, heart patients have to come to the hospital several times for diagnostic tests and ultimately surgery or other procedures. With Hoag’s new technology, a patient could receive a diagnosis and treatment all in one day.
“It’s more cost-effective and convenient for patients,” said Kpodonu, surgical director of Hybrid Intervention at Hoag. “Equally important the prospects for a faster and more complete recovery are much better because we can perform high-level, complicated surgeries without a major incision.
“Rather than spending weeks in the hospital, patients can go home in days,” he said. “It is a significant advancement.”
Hospital staff will begin using the new surgical facility to treat patients in early January.
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