Community leaders, physicians, and members of the St. Luke’s medical team are proud of the opening of the new Hybrid Operating Room (OR) and Electrophysiology (EP) Lab at St. Luke’s.

A hybrid OR combines a traditional operating room with advanced medical imaging capability, allowing for minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and an EP lab treats rhythmic disorders of the heart.

The hybrid OR and EP lab in total expand services to 8,500 sq. ft. and add the capacity for numerous enhanced procedures, including:

  • Expanded procedures to treat Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a leading indicator of stroke risk
  • Enhanced technology for pacemaker implantation, keeping your heart beating regularly and improving quality of life
  • High-tech imaging from the most-advanced radiology equipment, with minimal radiation exposure
  • Ability to perform minimally invasive endovascular and other specialized vascular procedures

A $12.5 million investment, the hybrid OR and EP lab provide many significant benefits to patients.  Probably the most important of these is time.  For people having vascular or heart problems, minutes matter.

“With the hybrid OR and EP lab, patients won’t have to go hospital-to-hospital or even room-to-room to receive life-saving vascular and cardiac care,” said Dan Wakeman, President and CEO of St. Luke’s. “By providing rapid access to treatment using the latest technology, we will reduce the potential for irreversible damage.”

The use of minimally invasive surgical procedures provides an important second benefit.  In the past, many cardiac and vascular procedures required cutting the breast bone to get access to the heart and vascular system.  Procedures which can now be performed in the hybrid OR and EP lab at St. Luke’s will use much smaller incisions, reducing complications and improving recovery time.

“The minimally invasive procedures are built on incredible advances in imaging technology,” said Dr. Charles Gbur, a cardiologist at St. Luke’s.  “Surgeons and other procedure-based physicians can operate with unprecedented precision and patients get better and back to living their life faster than we ever could have imagined only a few years ago.”

Beyond the technology and the hardware, the hybrid OR and EP Lab were planned by physicians from throughout the region, including independent physicians and those from area hospitals and health systems.

“We always say we want St. Luke’s to be a good place to practice medicine,” said Wakeman.  “Our approach to planning this project reflects that philosophy.  These surgeons will be able to do their best work at St. Luke’s.”

The hybrid OR and EP lab are the latest examples of St. Luke’s commitment to providing life-changing care to its patients. For example, the St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Health Center has full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.  St. Luke’s is also nationally certified as a Primary Stroke Center, among many other areas of recognized expertise.

“We’re changing the perception of St. Luke’s,” Wakeman said.  “Any patient can feel confident trusting their care to us, no matter how sick they are.”