Saint Francis Medical Center is opening an operating suite that will allow endovascular neurosurgery and open brain surgery in one room – and is just the second of its kind in the nation. The combined operating environment, which will be operational by the end of November, reduces or eliminates several factors that lead to increased disability and mortality rates.
“This is a top-of-the-line neurointerventional suite for endovascular treatment for brain and spine pathology,” says vascular and endovascular neurosurgeon Louis P. Caragine Jr., MD, PhD. “I have supervised two other medical facilities as they have built a hybrid suite, and I believe the suite at Saint Francis will be the best in the world.” The hybrid suite at Saint Francis uses technology from Philips and MAQUET and a design unmatched by any other neurosurgery suite in the country; the only other hybrid suite of its kind is used for cardiac procedures.
Caragine will be performing endovascular and open procedures in the new surgical suite. Endovascular neurosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed through a catheter in the groin. Because it is not an open surgery, patients typically recover faster and have fewer complications. These advanced techniques also can be used in some cases that might be too risky for an open procedure.
These surgeries require highly specialized equipment and specifically designed operating environments. Sometimes, however, endovascular procedures may need to be converted to open surgeries when a patient’s needs change. This means the patient must be moved to an operating room that is set up for open surgery.
However, critical time it is lost during the transfer while the second operating suite is prepared and the respective surgical teams scrub out/scrub in and exchange information about the case. Saint Francis’ endovascular neurosurgery hybrid suite has everything necessary for both procedures and is designed to be adaptable, providing the neurosurgeon the option to use a combined approach as well. It would take a minimum of 45 minutes and involve transporting the
patient to convert a procedure in a typical operating environment. In the hybrid suite, Caragine can convert a patient from an endovascular procedure to open surgery in about 15 minutes.
In addition to a highly specialized operating environment, these procedures require a surgeon with advanced and extensive training and experience. Caragine, who designed the suite, has these rare qualifications. In fact, he is one of roughly 35 fellowship-trained endovascular neurosurgeons in the country and is the only in the region.
The hybrid suite will be used for a variety of conditions, including aneurysms, arterial stenosis, arteriovenous malformations, carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas, cerebral revascularization, minimally invasive spine surgery, vascular tumors and vasospastic arteries. Many of these conditions are relatively common, so the suite will make a tremendous difference to the region’s residents. For example, one in 50 Americans has at least one unruptured brain aneurysm. One of those ruptures every 18 minutes, taking more than 500,000 lives every year. Under traditional operating conditions, two-thirds of those with this condition will have some disability following treatment. Reducing the time until an aneurysm is repaired can make a significant difference in outcomes.
The endovascular neurosurgery hybrid suite is just another example of Saint Francis’ leadership role – regionally and nationally – in advancing healthcare technology and providing exceptional patient care.