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New hybrid operating suite will employ latest technology, increase access to catheter-based interventions

A new hybrid operating suite at Michigan Medicine’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center will make complex heart procedures safer and easier to perform, using the most advanced technology.

The Frankel CVC faculty will perform a variety of open and endovascular procedures in the Robert and Ann Aikens Hybrid Suite, including the endovascular repair and replacement of heart valves, treatment of aortic pathologies, hybrid coronary interventions and electrophysiology procedures.

Stanley Chetcuti, M.D.
Stanley Chetcuti, M.D.

“The new suite will help us solidify our strength in the treatment of percutaneous valvular disease and complex electrophysiology interventions,” says Stanley Chetcuti, M.D., director of the University of Michigan’s cardiac catheterization labs.

In a hybrid cath lab–OR, catheter-based interventions and open surgeries can be performed simultaneously in the same space. At 1200 square feet, the Aikens suite is twice the size of a regular OR, and equipped with advanced imaging.

"The Aikens Hybrid room ushers in a new era of cardiovascular care, the minimally invasive treatment of structural heart disease,” says G. Michael Deeb, M.D., Herbert Sloan Collegiate Professor of Cardiac Surgery. “With the explosion of new technology more and more state-of-the-art forms of therapy are evolving from open surgical interventions to percutaneous procedures.”

Already the state’s largest transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) provider at more than 900 procedures, the Frankel CVC will be able to take on more of these endovascular cases each week with the opening of the Aikens suite.

First in the U.S.

The creation of the new hybrid suite is all thanks to a generous $7.5 million gift from U-M alums Robert and Ann Aikens, as part of the Victors for Michigan campaign.

In fact, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the first U.S. hospital outfitted with the Siemens ARTIS pheno, a new robotic C-arm angiography system. Incorporating the ARTIS pheno into the new hybrid suite will enhance imaging capabilities while reducing radiation exposure.

This angiography system also improves flexibility in the OR, maintains an uninterrupted sterile airflow and has antimicrobial surfaces.

“This room with its futuristic equipment will allow U-M to maintain its position as one of the leading pioneering and innovative institutions in the development of this new field through collaboration between all of the cardiovascular specialties,” Deeb says.

Training future doctors and enhancing community relationships

The Aikens Hybrid Suite’s advanced technology will also improve teaching capabilities, whether students are on-site or remote.

“Instructors can integrate what’s happening in the hybrid OR into the classroom, allowing real-time teaching of procedures without actually having to be in the room where it’s taking place,” says Chetcuti, also the Eric J. Topol Collegiate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine. In addition, a large viewing area will allow medical students, residents, fellows and community physicians the opportunity to observe cases on-site.

Furthering related research

In addition to helping support the development of the hybrid suite, Robert and Ann Aikens also invested in U-M’s related aortic research efforts.

“We’ve been able to create an annual Aikens grants program for exciting ideas to push new science in the understanding of the aortic valve and aortic disease,” says Kim Eagle, M.D., U-M’s Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine and a director of the Frankel CVC. “So far, the program has supported 10 studies in just the last two years.”

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