MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Patients requiring vascular or structural heart procedures at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will now have them performed in the Institute’s new hybrid operating rooms.

The Philips FlexMove Azurion hybrid operating room combines a traditional operating room with a catheterization lab and an imaging suite. The FlexMove technology allows the surgeon to see real-time, high-quality images through a low dose X-ray and overlay images previously captured during other diagnostic testing, such as those from a CT scan. The FlexMove system is mounted to the ceiling and is moveable, so that it can be left in stand-by mode in an out-of-the-way area in the operating room and then quickly moved into position when needed. This frees up space in the room for the physician and other staff to move around freely.

Additionally, the room is the first in the country with a fully integrated MAGNUS Surgical table system. This table can be used for either minimally invasive endovascular procedures or open surgery procedures. It is not permanently fixed in the room so that it, too, can be moved when necessary, creating a more comfortable and ergonomic set up for both the patient and the surgeon. 

According to Luke Marone, M.D., co-director of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and chief of Vascular Interventional Radiology Services at WVU Medicine, who was one of the first to perform a procedure in the new hybrid operating rooms, “The imaging is unparalleled. It maximizes what we can do for our patients. We now have the ability to do the most complex of procedures with less radiation and better imaging, which decreases the length of the procedure. These are all benefits to our patients.”

The hybrid operating rooms are the last big piece to come online in the Heart and Vascular Institute’s home in the 10-story tower attached to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, Dr. Marone said. The rooms are part of an overall design scheme that streamlines inpatient and outpatient care for both patients and providers. Rather than have patient clinic appointments, diagnostic imaging and lab work, and procedures performed in three different places, the design of the tower allows all of those visits to happen in one building.

“The most important factor that went into the design of the tower was patient flow. It is very efficient and provides our patients with a more comfortable experience. It’s very smooth and seamless,” Marone said. “It’s all patient focused and was designed by asking, ‘How can we do better for our patients?’” That is the result of the incredibly dynamic vision and backing from our administration, especially Albert Wright (president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System) and Amy Bush (WVU Medicine vice president of operations).”

The opening of the hybrid operating rooms also comes as the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute is expanding its outreach throughout the state and region and adding faculty members to meet the increasing demand for its services. Earlier this month, a clinic opened in Triadelphia (just outside of Wheeling), which complements the clinics already established in Parkersburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Grafton, Keyser, Glen Dale, Bridgeport, and New Martinsville in West Virginia, Connellsville in Pennsylvania, and Oakland in Maryland.

For more information about the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit www.wvumedicine.org/heart

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, Manager of Media Relations, 304-285-7259