27 November 2015
A new £6.3 million state-of-the-art operating theatre, that will pave the way for new lifesaving treatments for patients with complex heart conditions, has opened at Royal Brompton Hospital.
The hybrid theatre, which was built with £4.2 million funding from the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, combines the environment of an operating theatre with the imaging capabilities of a catheter laboratory.
The facility is the largest of its kind in Europe and incorporates the most modern theatre equipment found anywhere in the UK. The advanced imaging technology, operating table and integrated computer software, work together following a series of programmed steps, which means operations can be planned in advance in unprecedented detail.
The new operating theatre enables doctors to carry out different procedures for a patient in the same session, rather than interventions being staged over a period of time and several hospital visits.
Patients will spend less time in hospital, benefit from shorter recovery times and experience less pain and scarring.
Combined cardiac procedures that involve both a surgical and transcatheter approach (a thin flexible tube inserted into an artery via a small incision in the groin, chest or shoulder) will, in future, be available to a greater number of patients.
The facility will mean the Trust’s expert surgeons and interventional cardiologists can offer more minimally-invasive procedures, for example, coronary artery bypass graft (commonly known as heart bypass) with coronary angioplasty, which involves inserting a stent via a catheter to treat a blockage in the artery, and develop new groundbreaking techniques for patients with complex heart disease. This will be particularly valuable for patients who are considered high risk for conventional surgery.
Professor Tim Evans, medical director at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“The hybrid operating theatre provides our specialist teams with the latest cutting-edge technology and means current and future patients will benefit from pioneering treatments. It supports our ongoing commitment to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and offer world class specialist treatments that are not widely available elsewhere.
“As the Trust’s experts continue to push boundaries and carry out increasingly complex procedures, patients will be provided with greater choice and have access to more minimally-invasive treatment options.
“Despite the current financial pressures being felt across the NHS, investing in high-quality patient care remains an absolute priority for our hospitals. We are extremely fortunate therefore to have the support of the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, without which the building of the hybrid theatre would not have been possible. We are grateful to the charity and its supporters for providing two thirds of the funding for this exciting new facility that will benefit hundreds of patients every year.”