St George’s has opened a new hi-tech Hybrid Operating Theatre, where state of the art imaging enables less invasive surgery which is safer for patients.

The theatre, on the first floor of St James wing, is equipped with an advanced scanner available at all times where small body parts such as veins and arteries can be visualised and surgeons can be guided to these areas.

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Medical equipment like catheters or stents can then be inserted through small holes rather than the patient undergoing more invasive surgery. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, non-surgical interventions can improve recovery and shorten hospital stay. If the less invasive route is not successful, surgeons can convert to open surgery under one anaesthetic in a safe theatre environment.

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Matt Thompson, Professor of Vascular Surgery at St George’s said: “It’s a very exciting development for the trust to have a first-class safe environment that combines an operating theatre with an interventional radiology suite. The new treatment options have the potential to enhance patient care and shorten recovery times, reducing the overall cost of treatment.”

Renate Wendler, Associate Medical Director and clinical lead for the project said: “The development of the Hybrid Theatre was a real group effort. I’d like to thank all staff who worked incredibly hard to make it happen.”

The new hybrid suite will be used primarily for vascular surgery and interventional radiology procedures, but has the potential to be used for other specialities such as major trauma or cardiology/cardiac surgery.