Feature | July 08, 2010| Dave Fornell

Planning for a Hybrid Suite

As the volume of minimally invasive procedures expands, hospitals are creating hybrid cath lab/operating rooms

The hybrid suite at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano allows both surgical and interventional procedures to be performed. Hybrid cath lab, Hybrid OR.

The hybrid suite at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano allows both surgical and interventional procedures to be performed.

The hybrid suite at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano allows both surgical and interventional procedures to be performed.

The hybrid suite at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano allows both surgical and interventional procedures to be performed.

The barriers that once separated interventionalists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons and electrophysiologists are rapidly being reduced by the convergence of transcatheter technologies and the need for high-quality fluoroscopic imaging systems. All these specialists are now using cath lab technology and finding that combining these labs with the assets of an operating room (OR) brings together the best of both worlds.

However, planning for hybrid suites involves much more partnering and multiple departmental involvement than planning for an OR or cath lab alone. These rooms are used not only by surgeons and interventional cardiologists, but also by electrophysiologists, neurosurgeons, structural heart specialists and vascular surgeons.

“It really takes a village when planning a hybrid suite,” said David L. Brown, M.D., FACC, FACP, co-founder of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, Texas.

He serves there as president and chairman of the medical staff, director of interventional cardiology and co-director of cardiovascular research and the structural heart program. Brown also started a consulting business to help hospitals in their planning for hybrid suites. He explained how to plan for a hybrid during a presentation at the Philips Healthcare and American College of Cardiology (ACC) hybrid exhibit at the ACC meeting in March.

Group Planning is Key to Building a New Hybrid OR, Cath Lab

Before approaching the hospital administration about the need for a hybrid suite, consensus needs to be built among all the potential users. A site visit should be made to a hospital that already has one of these suites. Brown suggests including the hospital administrator, OR management and the architect during the visit.

The key people who should serve on hybrid suite planning committees include the surgeons and cardiologists who will use the facility, the OR and cath lab staffs, OR nurses, information technology staff, the OR and cath lab directors, the facilities manager, infection control personnel and the architect.

Brown said it’s also a good idea to include the OR and cath lab equipment vendors chosen for the project so they can coordinate. All four of the big angiography system manufacturers already have partnerships with key OR equipment vendors for smoother hybrid planning and installation. Weekly planning meetings can help keep everyone informed of changes in the plans or design. This enables everyone to have a chance to speak up prior to any final decisions.

Procedure Utilization of the Hybrid Lab

“We are no longer cutting things out of people,” Brown said. He explained the future of surgery is going to be minimally invasive, using cath lab techniques instead of traditional, open surgical methods. This includes ablation instead of excision, image-guided over visual navigation, reconstruction without suturing and access via natural orifice or blood vessel instead of incision. This trend is evident with the widespread adoption of endovascular repair of aortic aneurisms, the spread of transcatheter heart valve and shunt occluders, and percutaneous interventions instead of traditional vascular surgery. Brown said hybrid suites are ideally suited for aortic arch repair, implantation of percutaneous left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), transcatheter heart valve replacements, peripheral vascular procedures, thoracic and abdominal aortic endografting, electrophysiology (EP) procedures and combo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)/percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). He said completion angiography of a CABG helps detect defects before closing the patient, but high-quality imaging systems are needed.

Where to Locate a Hybrid Suite — in With the Cath Labs or Sugical ORs

“I think all this is better served by a hybrid suite located in the OR,” Brown said. “It is easier to bring the OR into range for imaging than it is to convert a cath lab into an OR.”

He said ORs need positive ventilation, access to a scrub room, sterilization equipment and surgical equipment and supplies. All of these are already located in the surgical department. Cath labs can be converted into a hybrid, but the cost to bring these rooms up to surgical standards is often high. Brown also said it is often less expensive to share existing OR resources, than to duplicate scrub rooms, supplies and equipment in another area of the hospital.

“It is a new workplace,” Brown said. “It’s not making a cath lab into an OR, nor is it making an OR into a cath lab.”

Dual-Use Hyprid Operating Room With Multiple Interventional Users

When one of these suites is not being used for a hybrid procedure, it can be used as a normal OR, cath lab or EP lab. “We use our hybrid room for cardiac (surgical) cases when it’s not being used for hybrid cases,” Brown said. Vascular surgeons also use the room for endovascular cases. He said many prefer the OR area to a cath lab because they feel more comfortable in their own environment. Also, if a patient suffers a major complication requiring surgery, they would already be in an OR.

The Imaging System is the Key Device in the Hybrid Cath Lab

High-quality imaging is key to all hybrid suite procedures. Cath labs utilize top-of-the-line fluoroscopic X-ray angiography systems. New technology is also making these systems more useful, such as stent enhancement modes, integration with 3-D ultrasound, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), intracardiac echo (ICE), trans-esophageal echo (TEE) and 3-D rotational angiography. To improve navigation within the heart, especially for more complex structural transcatheter procedures, hybrid imaging systems will become commonplace in the future, Brown said.

As an example, he said Philips is developing the Heart Navigator System, which uses preloaded computed tomography angiography (CTA) data sets. The images can be manipulated to show multiple views of the same anatomy, such as an aortic valve, for easier procedure planning. These images can be overlaid on live fluoroscopy to support navigation. The image can be edited to show only the 3-D anatomy of interest.

Brown suggests imaging systems that are compact and easy to move out of the way are the best for a hybrid lab. For this reason he prefers monoplane systems, because they take up less space. Brown also said ceiling-mounted gantry systems are easier to move out of the way and do not impede floor space. Give consideration to the size of the digital X-ray flat panel. Standard cardiac imaging uses a 12-inch panel, but vascular work usually requires a 16-inch panel. Systems should include digital subtraction software, an analysis package for hemodynamic measurements and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) compatibility.

When purchasing the imaging system, Brown said it’s best to prepare a request for proposal (RFP) and solicit bids from several vendors. “We found RFPs to be a very useful aid that allows for an apples-to-apples comparison,” Brown said. He said the key vendors include GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba. Also, request site visits from each vendor so they can see firsthand what a facility’s needs are.

Specialized Equipment Required in the Hybrid Cath Lab

Other imaging equipment not frequently used in the cath lab, but important to surgeons and neurologists, includes video endoscopy devices and transcranial Doppler. Cardiac surgeons also require a heart-lung machine and anesthesia. Specialized software systems required in a hybrid include hemodynamic monitoring, access to PACS and reporting systems for the various specialties using the suite.

Endovascular Repair Use of the Hybrid OR

A key use of hybrid suites is for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) and thoracic aortic aneurism (TAA) repair.

“As we move from AAA to thoracic aortic arch repairs, there are fewer open procedures now,” Brown said. “We almost never see an open abdominal or thoracic procedure anymore. Everything is done endovascularly now.”

Preprocedure planning for these implants is crucial, because proper sizing is needed to prevent complications. Periprocedural navigation aids are also important to prevent the occlusion of side branch vessels. For these reasons, Brown said advanced visualization software plays a key role in the hybrid suite. The software takes CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data sets to create accurate 3-D images of the anatomy prior to the procedure.

EP Procedures in the Hybrid Lab

Brown said combo EP/cath/ORs are going to be the next big trend in hybrid suites. These suites are ideally suited for the minimally invasive surgical procedures required to implant pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), cardiac rhythm therapy devices (CRTs) and implantable cardiac monitors. If EP will play a role in a hybrid suite, EP navigation systems are needed for complex procedures, such as catheter ablations.


Related Hybrid Cath Lab Content:

VIDEO: Advice For Hospitals Starting a Structural Heart Program — Interview with John Carroll, M.D.

How to Build an Integrated Heart Team

VIDEO: Overview of the Structural Heart Program at Tufts Medical Center — Interview with Charles D. Resor, M.D.

Advice For Hospitals Starting a Structural Heart Program

Hospital Consolidation May Increase Access to TAVR, New Cardiac Technologies — Northwestern Medicine experience

VIDEO: Overview of University of Colorado Structural Heart Program


Planning for a Hybrid Suite

VIDEO: Overview of the Henry Ford Hospital Structural Heart Program — Interview with William O’Neill, M.D.

Requirements for Interventional Echocardiographers

VIDEO: How to Build An Integrated Heart Team — Interview with Brijeshwar Maini, M.D., and Brian Bethea, M.D.

VIDEO: Overview of the TAVR Program at Tufts Medical Center — Interview with  Andrew Weintraub, M.D.


BLOG: Creating a Structural Heart Program is an Investment in the Future of the Hospital

VIDEO: How Consolidation Into Larger Health Systems Can Improve Access to TAVR

VIDEO: Transcatheter Mitral Valve Interventions at Henry Ford Hospital — Interview with Marvin Eng, M.D. and William O’Neill, M.D.

VIDEO: Evolution of Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair at the University of Colorado


Find more content on hybrid ORs

Find more news on angiography imaging systems

Find more content on cath lab technologies


Related Content

The new cardiac hybrid operating room (OR) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in London, Ontario, Canada, represents a new frontier in cardiac surgery. The customized OR features a Siemens Artis Pheno angiogray system with  3-D imaging capability with an integrated OR table that together improve workflow, increase efficiency and ensure a high-level of infection control.

The new cardiac hybrid operating room (OR) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in London, Ontario, Canada, represents a new frontier in cardiac surgery. The customized OR features a Siemens Artis Pheno angiogray system with  3-D imaging capability with an integrated OR table that together improve workflow, increase efficiency and ensure a high-level of infection control.

News | Hybrid OR | October 02, 2020
October 2, 2020 — The new cardiac hybrid operating room (OR) at Lon...
heart team, hybird OR, structural heart team

The heart team approach was first used on a large scale in the CoreValve and Sapien TAVR trials and helped lead to excellent outcomes in high-risk patients.

Feature | Hybrid OR | February 15, 2017 | Dave Fornell
In the current era of healthcare reform and the push toward evidence-based medicine to both lower costs and improve p
GE Healthcare, Getinge Group, Maquet, Discovery IGS 730 angiography system, Magnus operating table, integrated, hybrid OR

GE Healthcare's Discovery IGS 730 angiography system

Technology | Hybrid OR | June 13, 2016
GE Healthcare and Getinge Group announced the U.S. launch of a new, highly flexible angiography solution for surgery,...
Videos | Hybrid OR | November 20, 2012
Mercy Hospital in Chicago has developed a successful hybrid cath lab program where various specialties work together
hybrid OR, hybrid cath lab

Dr. Krassi Ivancev and staff in the University College London Hospitals in the United Kingdom perform a hybrid procedure in their GE-installed hybrid OR.

Feature | Hybrid OR | September 21, 2011 | Dave Fornell
One of the biggest trends is the creation of hybrid operating rooms (ORs) that bring together the best of both surgical...