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First-ever Procedure in Region’s Only Hybrid Operating Room


November 02, 2011  |  

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center experts have performed San Diego’s first-ever coronary revascularization procedure using a hybrid operating room, the only facility of its kind in the region. The state-of-the-art operating room allows patients to be treated in one place at one time without having to schedule multiple procedures. The result is less time in the operating room and reduced costs for hospitalization.


The hybrid OR at UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center opened in August 2011.


“Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center’s state-of-the-art surgical suite allows cardiologists and surgeons to move seamlessly between minimally invasive and open or endovascular procedures without needing to move the patient,” said Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, co-director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center.  “We are the only ones who offer this option in San Diego. This model of care is better for patients and the future of heart surgery.”

62-year-old Glen Barnard – who suffered a heart attack seven weeks ago – is the first heart patient to benefit from a new approach in the newly-opened hybrid operating room.  “Because of the location of my heart blockages, I was going to have to have open heart surgery which really scared me,” said Bernard.  “Then, the Sulpizio physicians explained this hybrid option: two procedures on the same day at the same time.  I felt comfortable with the idea and with the team.  I was up and walking the next day and two days later I was in physical therapy.”

Under traditional circumstances, Barnard’s heart condition would have required either a traditional open heart coronary bypass operation or two intense operations with recovery time after each separate procedure.  The capabilities of the hybrid OR makes it possible to combine the traditional diagnostic/interventional functions of a catheterization lab with the surgical functions of an operating room.

“Our new set-up allows the physicians from two different disciplines to merge their expertise in one room for the benefit of the patient,” added Michael Madani, MD, co-director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center.  “Here, two teams – the surgeon’s team and the cardiologist’s team – work as one to achieve optimal results while improving patient care and efficiency.”

The hybrid OR allowed Dr. Madani to perform a bypass on one vessel, using a small incision and the DaVinci robot. The team then converted the operating room into a catheterization lab, in less than 15 minutes, allowing Dr. Mahmud to stent Barnard’s other blockage.

The hybrid OR’s multi-disciplinary approach is also being utilized for open heart surgery and vascular surgery, bringing together experts in cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiac surgery. 

“I feel pretty lucky to have qualified for this procedure.  Life is good.  My wife and I just got back from Las Vegas and we’re planning a trip up the California coastline,” said Bernard.

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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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