A new hybrid operating room at the Heart Center of Yuma means patients will receive the latest in care for cardiovascular diseases without having to go out of town.
The new OR will open its doors Monday, offering Yuma Regional Medical Center patients the latest advances in treatment. The suite is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging technology, making it one of only two medical centers in Arizona to offer it.
The advanced technology is currently in use at six hospitals in the Southwest, including Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, according to a press release announcing the new facility.
It’s called "hybrid" because it combines the traditional diagnostic functions of a cath lab with the surgical functions of an operating room. This combination enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive and open surgical procedures in the same room.
"We’ll be able to bring into the mix complicated cases that before we wouldn’t have been able to do," heart surgeon Dr. Roberto Cervera said during a Thursday tour.
"It’s real exciting for the city of Yuma. We hope with the new technology we’ll be able to treat patients with higher risk and mitigate complications," he added.
Cardiologist Dr. Khidir Osman looks forward to working with surgeons from different specialities in the same space. "It’s a multi-disciplinary room where we can work together."
And having a cath room doubling as an operating room means "we don’t have to wheel the patient to another room" for other procedures, Osman pointed out.
"When you finish a procedure, in a hybrid situation, you have the capacity to shoot some contrasts and see the patency of the vessels and be sure 100 percent for the patient," Cervera added.
Greg Titensor, a registered nurse and clinical director of the Heart Center, explained that the new technology "will enable us to perform procedures that are less invasive as well as procedures that previously couldn’t be done in Yuma."
He added that the new technology will make it easier for specialists to repair conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Local surgeons Drs. Henri Carter, George Deckey and Peter Cheung are among the specialists who will use the new facility.
"They’re very excited about it to say the least because the technology they’ll have is just amazing," Titensor said.
The new hybrid operating room represents another significant milestone in YRMC’s heart care services. The hospital has constructed three cath labs since 1999, and all three have recently been updated with the latest technology.
The hospital began offering open heart surgery in 2004 with recruitment of Scottsdale cardiovascular surgeon Dr. James Moon, and a second cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Cervera, was recruited one year ago.
In addition, the Heart Center is now expanding its patient prep and recovery area from 14 bays to 29 bays to meet the growing demand for cardiovascular procedures.
The design of the new hybrid operating room was a collaborative effort that included input from physicians, health-care architects, imaging providers and operating room design experts.
"Cardiologists Dr. Khidir Osman and Dr. Joseph Cardenas and Dr. Moon all teamed up at the very beginning a couple of years ago and said, ‘This is something we need to look at,’ and now, here we are," Titensor recalled.
YRMC CEO Pat Walz said the hospital was "very proud to be one of the first medical centers in Arizona to acquire this state-of-the-art imaging technology to provide patients with the latest advancements in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
"This will enable residents of the communities we serve to eliminate the time, expense and stress involved in traveling to another city for treatment and instead receive the care they need close to home, where they can be surrounded by family and friends."
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.