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A New Approach to Heart Bypass Surgery Provides Patients with 'One-stop Shopping'

valve operated on you have a before and after picture (intraoperative echocardiography).

“But for coronary artery surgery there is no “after” picture,” he said. “Placing the left internal mammary artery to the left anterior descending coronary artery is perhaps the most important reconstructive procedure any human will ever have in their entire life, yet we don't image the quality of the result. We don't measure it. We've never measured it. This has all changed at Vanderbilt.”

Although Vanderbilt is one of six centers nationally exploring this idea, it is believed to be the first to put the concept to use.

On April 4, the first patient to undergo the newest technology was Robert Metry, a 66-year-old health care attorney from Franklin.

Metry was not hesitant to become a pioneer. His triple bypass surgery was done in the new operating suite.

“The first thing that interested me was the pure science of having the image done in real time,” he said. “They knew that everything was OK when they closed me up. I was also excited that I was getting the A-team.”

Metry, who has a family history of heart disease, was pleased with the entire experience.

“If anyone asked me about the Hybrid OR, I would tell them to do it. You'd want to know as much as possible about the outcome. The doctors can use these outcomes as benchmarks. Measuring outcomes is so important. This is the new direction of medicine.”

And what has been the delay in introducing this medical breakthrough?

Byrne points to the geography of the operating room suites and the cath labs. In most hospitals these facilities are located in separate areas. At Vanderbilt, the OR suites are on the third floor, while the cath labs are on the first floor. Orchestrating the transport of patients requiring both open-heart surgery and interventional procedures is cumbersome and often inefficient, with lag times of up to seve
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