During a neurosurgical procedure, physicians can use easily accessible intraoperative MRI equipment to better determine if brain tumor cells have been successfully removed.
“If any of the tumor remains, we can get them right back into the operating room without changing floors,” said William Friedman, M.D., chair of the Lillian S. Wells department of neurosurgery at the UF College of Medicine.
Real-time imaging technology in the neurosurgical hybrid ORs helps neurosurgeons repair aneurysms or stroke damage in the brain by inserting a catheter into a leg artery and guiding it into blood vessels in the brain, Friedman said. Other new equipment allows a computer-guided laser probe to be inserted into the brain’s temporal lobe, giving neurosurgeons the ability to monitor a brain lesion in real time.
“A lot of thought was put into the operating room suites,” Friedman said. “From a surgeon’s perspective, we have many advanced features and everyone loves working in the new space.”
At the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital, fluoroscopy equipment in the hybrid OR streams a continuous X-ray image onto monitors. That allows procedures such as heart valve replacements to be done as minimally invasive procedures, said Anthony A. Bavry, M.D., a UF College of Medicine cardiologist and associate professor.
The hybrid OR’s design and equipment are also ideal for bringing specialists together. Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons can work in tandem on complex cases.
“It’s totally integrated. You’re in an operating room but you also have direct access to X-ray and imaging equipment,” said Anthony Bavry, M.D., a UF College of Medicine cardiologist and associate professor.
Another benefit of having the latest equipment: Patients and staff are exposed to less radiation even as physicians are getting better quality medical images, Bavry said. The hybrid ORs’ new imaging technology can also be put to use in other ways. During a procedure, images from robotic devices, microscopes and other equipment can be captured in one database and projected on monitors throughout the operating room.
“It plays a huge role in teaching because the surgeons can capture elements of the procedure, store that information and use it later for instruction,” Nappo said. Sasha Grek, M.D., a critical care physician, anesthesiologist and the chief quality officer for UF Health Shands hospitals, worked in the Cardiac ICU as the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital began accepting patients in mid-December. He said the ORs’ many technological innovations, especially the intraoperative MRI and hybrid operating rooms, are exciting.
“This supports advanced patient care by helping the neurosurgery teams to facilitate removal of brain tumors and abnormalities. That allows us to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients,” Grek said.