Just as Hybrid cars are becoming more popular because they offer more options than traditional autos and can save money, many hospitals are getting on board with hybrid operating rooms.
And the reasoning is the same.
IU Health Goshen Hospital recently installed a Hybrid Operating/Xray procedure room that is one of only one hundred in the United States, but the number is expected to climb rapidly.
Interventional Radiologist Dr. Benjamin Mareno says the technology in the combination procedure room provides the gold standard of care to patients, combining state-of-the-art Xray imaging with a full operating room, explaining they can treat, "patients who require both a surgical procedure and a radiologist procedure simultaneously."
Dr. Mareno says multiple specialists can work in tandem and get images of a patient undergoing a procedure in real time with the ability to move the Xray machine toward or away from the patient and surgeons if needed.
Patients like 57-year-old J.R. Spencer of St. Joseph County who doesn't mind traveling to Goshen for treatment.
J.R. has suffered from diabetes for 45 years and has vascular disease which caused his kidneys to fail. Years ago he had a kidney transplant and has had many surgeries, including various problems with the circulation in his legs.
J.R. says it made living a normal life very difficult. "It affects your ability to walk for a long distance because your legs will cramp. Climbing, any kind of strenuous activity , having insufficient blood flow to the legs just doesn't allow them to operate as they normally would."
That led to gangrene and J.R. has had several toes amputated. Other doctors told J.R. he might lose a leg too.
But he says the multi specialist approach at Goshen and the hybrid procedure room have really changed his life. "They went in and lasered that blockage out and after that procedure there was virtually no pain and I walked out of here at the end of the day."
Together Dr. Mareno and Vascular Surgeon John Martens were able to improve the blood flow to both J.R's legs. His wounds healed and his circulation is restored,
Dr. Martens say this type of treatment changes everything, "This
is the future of vascular surgery right here and there's always going to be an open part for vascular surgery, there's going to be a very active endovascular component to it and there's going to be many cases where both of those things are happening simultaneously."
And both doctors say like hybrid cars, these specialized suites are more cost effective and improve safety for patients. Dr. Martens explains his role, "I go in and open up the artery, clean out the blockage and Dr. Moreno then slides in a catheter through that artery and deals with blockages that are not accessible through that incision."
Dr. Mareno says the technology and team approach greatly benefit patients like J.R. "It's able to integrate information from a patient's record, as well as live images that we're obtaining during the procedure. So on one screen we can combine the patients CT scan, the ultrasound, as well as things we're doing in real time."
J.R. says whatever they are doing, it has been a win-win for him, "Now they have the equipment and the training to go in and take care of those problems, so I hope to keep my legs for many, many more years."
J.R. is already taking longs walks, something he says he couldn't do before seeing Dr's Mareno and Martens.
IU Health Goshen Hospital says in addition to reduced cost and procedure time for patients, the multiple specialist approach, in the same location, means no transfer for the patient in the event of an emergency and infection rates are lower.