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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Pioneering Surgical Facility Takes Heart Care to New Level at AGH

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Hybrid OR Facilitates Complex Minimally Invasive Cardiovascular Surgeries with Advanced Intraoperative Imaging Capabilities

Allegheny Health Network officials announced today the completion of a $7 million state-of-the-art hybrid operating room (OR) at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH).  The new facility puts unprecedented imaging capabilities within reach of surgical teams, greatly improving their ability to perform highly complex cardiovascular procedures.

Scheduled to open on October 28, the new hybrid operating suite is equipped with the Siemens Artis zeego, a robotic imaging system that can position advanced CT imaging technology around the patient to guide the surgical team. The Artis zeego provides real-time 3D imaging that allows physicians to visualize internal organs and blood vessels from different angles with precise anatomical detail.

Simultaneously, AGH is slated to open a new 36-bed Ambulatory Care Center. Located adjacent to the hospital’s operating rooms, the new unit is designed to provide a more convenient and efficient experience for patients undergoing outpatient surgery.

As the quaternary hub of the Allegheny Health Network and the Network’s Cardiovascular Institute, AGH serves as a leading referral center for patients from throughout the western Pennsylvania region who suffer from advanced heart and vascular disease. The addition of the hybrid OR and its sophisticated technology will provide enhanced benefits to those patients, according to Stephen Bailey, MD, AGH’s Director of Cardiac Surgery.

“This innovative technology provides us with ‘fly around’ perspective—the ability to see all sides of an organ or vessel without making a single incision. It really takes our capabilities for performing even the most intricate and challenging cardiovascular procedures to a whole new level,” Dr. Bailey said.

Bailey and physicians from the AGH Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) will use the surgical suite to perform a variety of complex procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The team at Allegheny General’s CVI has performed minimally invasive TAVR procedures for more than a year through the femoral artery in the leg, threading a catheter up the artery to reach the heart. Recently, AGH was the first hospital in the region to offer transapical TAVR, a similar procedure done through a small chest incision providing direct access to the heart.

“The imaging capabilities of AGH’s new hybrid operating room provide the ideal environment for executing such procedures in which medical and surgical tasks are intertwined to provide the ultimate in surgical planning and targeted, minimally invasive treatments,” said David Lasorda, DO, Director of Interventional Cardiology at AGH.

The spacious 1,600 square foot operating suite provides ample room for the equipment and multidisciplinary personnel required to perform some of the most complicated heart and vascular procedures, Dr. Lasorda said.

In addition to TAVR, Allegheny General’s team of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac imaging specialists and cardiac anesthesiologists will offer other structural heart procedures in the new hybrid OR, including aortic dissections, percutaneous closure of intracardiac defects and hybrid convergent therapy for atrial fibrillation.

Vascular surgical procedures including the repair of complex aortic aneurysms involving the visceral and renal arteries will be done in the suite as well.

Patients who require less complex vascular surgeries may also benefit from the zeego system as it requires less contrast agent than other imaging methods, said Satish Muluk, MD, Chief of AGH’s Division of Vascular Surgery.

“There are just 118 zeego units in operating rooms across the United States,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Director of AGH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Medical Director of Allegheny Health Network’s Cardiovascular Institute. “We’re extremely pleased to bring this advanced imaging application to Allegheny General and the Allegheny Health Network to further enhance our nationally-recognized medical and surgical capabilities.”

Allegheny General was recently the only Pittsburgh hospital and one of just 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of 100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs. AGH was lauded by Thomson Reuters as one of the nation’s Top 50 Cardiac Programs and is one of the region’s only medical centers to be similarly ranked by U.S. News and World Report. 

“For more than five decades, Allegheny General has been a leader in the treatment of complex diseases of the heart and blood vessels,” said George Magovern, MD, Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for Allegheny Health Network. “This state-of-the-art facility represents the hospital’s and Allegheny Health Network’s ongoing commitment to improving heart care in our region for years to come.”

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