Queensland’s first private hybrid operating theatre at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital became operational on April 7th 2014. Designed by pdt architects, the $3million hybrid theatre forms part of a $5 million redevelopment and upgrade of the hospital’s operating theatre facilities.
The new hybrid combines the advantages of an Operating Theatre with the image quality of a radiology suite. It is equipped with sophisticated medical imaging technologies which allows specialists to perform highly complex surgeries through small incisions, resulting in less discomfort, faster recovery times and fewer risks for patients with multiple medical conditions. With the average age of patients seeing vascular surgeons increasing, minimal invasive surgery has become more important thus allowing more patients to be treated who are not fit enough for open surgery.
Architect Mike Musil, pdt partner, said that designing a hybrid theatre presented a number of challenges.
“The design of Hybrids are extremely challenging due to the complexity of not just an Operating Theatre but also the requirements of an imaging suite that involves additional facilities such as Control Rooms, Equipment Rooms and dedicated Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) Rooms all needing to be located in close proximity to the OT and at the same time maintaining a sterile environment.”
“Standard room sizes just don’t work, not only because of the equipment that features in a hybrid theatre but also because there are usually more people in the operating theatre because of the additional surgical and equipment specialists that need to be in attendance.”
“Plus, the floor loads need to be able to cope with the weight of the equipment and even the ceiling may need to support more weight than it was originally designed for and may even require penetrations through the slab for air filtration and overhead services,” he said.
“An additional feature is the incorporation of radiation shielding in the walls, floor and ceiling of the OT because of the nature of the equipment involved,” he said.
“It was a wonderful challenge to get all these elements and more designed into the hybrid theatre and we understand the client is happy with the outcome,” Mr Musil said.
Dr Andrew Cartmill, St Andrew’s Director of Vascular Surgery, performed the first procedures in the Hybrid Theatre and said the resolution and clarity of images was the best he had ever seen. “The detail is quite incredible,” he said. “What we can see very clearly on the screen is blood vessels which are fractions of a millimetre in diameter. Tiny vessels through the heart, brain and legs right down to the very tips of the toes.
“While it is the larger arteries that we operate on, that kind of image clarity is what provides us greater success in guiding wires through artery blockages and then reopening the arteries which feed those minute vessels.”
For more information contact Mike Musil email@example.com