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

n hours. And the need for an X-ray of the procedure would also require transporting patients from the third to the first floor. Finally, if any surgical intervention is needed after an X-ray is obtained, the patient would be transported back to the OR.

Previously at Vanderbilt and still done elsewhere, physicians use what is labeled soft measurements to check a patient's recovery status. These tools include flow probes, EKGs, Echos and ultrasounds which all help determine blood flow. They are not effective when looking at the anatomy of the heart, which is vital when checking for successful grafting and other cardiac procedures, Byrne said.

Another familiar scenario before the Hybrid OR — patients with aortic stenosis or a blockage of the aortic valve with blockage in the right coronary artery; they could have the right coronary artery stented in the cath lab and then be transported to the OR for a minimally invasive valve surgery. It required procedures in two separate locations or at two separate times — both of which require patients to leave and re-enter sterile fields. The Hybrid OR allows them both to be done at the same time, boosting patient safety.

Now that Vanderbilt has opened the Hybrid OR suites, a “one-stop shop” as Byrne refers to it, will create a new model for treating patients.

“The key barrier-to-entry into this new realm has not been equipment or the space. The real barrier-to-entry is collaboration and teamwork between cardiology and cardiac surgery; not just among physicians but also among the OR team and the cath lab team. Dan Brinkman, R.N., director of the cath lab, has been instrumental in building the team.”

At Vanderbilt the teams have been combined to provide a new standard of care, Byrne said. Hybrid procedures will become more common as medical centers begin to see an increase in more complex heart disease patients. The need to image results to measure outcomes will become nec
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