A £1.3M investment by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has seen the creation of a new high tech hybrid operating theatre at The Royal Oldham Hospital.
Known as the specialist vascular service theatre, the hybrid operation room is a state-of-the-art environment where high definition imaging and surgical tools are available.
A full range of procedures can be carried out in the single room, ranging from endovascular procedures to hybrid, minimally invasive or open surgery.
The surgical theatre is equipped with an advanced medical imaging scanner so patients will be able to have any imaging and surgical procedures simultaneously, rather than two different procedures.
Theatre, surgical and radiology staff will all work together to quickly adapt the room for diverse procedures and use it to its fullest extent and enhance patient care.
It will also help the Trust to develop services like urgent thrombolysis (clot busting) of blocked arteries and veins, and thoracic aneurysm repairs.
The room consists of an operation table with a radiolucent top; anaesthesia equipment; screens for monitoring; lighting for open procedures; an injector which injects x-ray dye into patients and an ultrasound machine.
Mr Riza Ibrahim, consultant vascular surgeon at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “This is a very exciting development in terms of offering a new high tech theatre which combines a normal operating theatre with an interventional radiology suite.
“It can function as either a conventional operating theatre, or as a radiology facility, but crucially allows intra and post-operative imaging and intervention on the operating table.
“The new treatment options have the potential to enhance patient care and shorten recovery times, reducing the overall cost of treatment.
Tim Barrett, lead radiographer added: “The Trust now has state-of-the-art imaging equipment, planned and installed in record time which means our vascular theatre is on a par with any in the country.”
Patient Christopher Walsh was the first to have his operation in the new theatre. He had a large abdominal aortic aneurysm and was deemed high risk for an open procedure.
The work to convert the theatre into a specialist hybrid theatre was carried out by GE Healthcare and their supply chain who supplied, installed and commissioned the scanner, and Maquet who supplied the new theatre light and pendants.
It was completed in a very tight programme of three months while keeping the remaining theatre suite operational at all times.
Mr Ibrahim added: “With this new state-of-the-art equipment we were able to fuse his pre-operative CT scan and the on-table live imaging.
“This drastically reduced the need for contrast injection, thus protecting his already compromised kidney. He was discharged the day after his major operation.”