On May 1, the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center hosted a special ceremony to unveil its new Hybrid Imaging Suite – leading the way in specialized minimally invasive heart valve care for the region.
The new Hybrid Imaging Suite features the most advanced imaging technology and combines the diagnostic capabilities of a catheterization laboratory with the surgical functions of an operating room. The unique combination of features allows the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute care team to easily switch from a catheterization lab to an operating room during procedures that may need special care. The advanced imaging, including 3D reconstruction, assists in time-of-care diagnosis and expedites treatment.
“The imaging technology available in the Hybrid Imaging Suite is one of its kind in the region,” says Gregory Thomas, M.D., MPH, medical director, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “If something were to happen during a routine catheterization laboratory procedure, the team can easily switch gears and turn the Suite into an operating room without having to move the patient from room-to-room.”
The imaging capabilities also give the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute the opportunity to provide the specialized Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure – a minimally-invasive way to replace the aortic heart valve without opening the chest. With a tiny device, this catheter-based procedure replaces the aortic heart valve for people with severe aortic stenosis without open heart surgery.
“The TAVR procedure provides many new opportunities for Long Beach Medical Center and our patients,” says Rex Winters, M.D., medical director, invasive cardiology, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “Patients that were once considered inoperable because they could not handle the bodily stress of open heart surgery, now have an opportunity for an improved quality of life.”