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New OR at Christiana Care for 'hybrid' heart surgeries

Nick Ciolino / Delaware Public Media

Christiana Care Health System upgraded the operating room at its Center for Heart and Vascular Health in Christiana.

Christiana Care invested $3.5 million into its new Hybrid Operating Room.

The room is set up for surgical teams to work alongside intervention teams who specialize in non-invasive procedures. Officials say it’s the only one of its kind in the state.

The heart center’s Medical Director Kirk Garratt, MD says the new room allows a surgical team to use robot technology to perform minimally invasive heart bypass surgery - then an intervention team can take care of less important blockages using stents in the same setting.

“The patient leaves the room with what we call complete revascularization, meaning every important blockage has been taken care of,” said Garratt.

Garrat says the room is also set up for surgical teams specializing in the chest cavity to work alongside teams specializing in the abdomen for surgeries on the aorta.

“Things like automobile accidents often cause injury to both the chest part and the abdomen part of the aorta,” he said. “So we see an opportunity to deliver even better care for patients who have that kind of vascular trouble, because of this room.”

The room is outfitted with an imaging robot displaying high resolution x-rays on multiple screens in real time. Garratt says it provides the clearest imaging available with minimal radiation exposure to the patient.

Garratt says the first patients in the new operating room will be those who qualify for non-invasive heart procedures. 

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