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HOUSTON — Medical Center Director Frank Vazquez and leaders from the Houston VA Surgery Department cut the ribbon to officially open two additional new Hybrid Operating Rooms on the fifth floor of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Dec. 4, 2018.

The new ORs are equipped with advanced medical imaging devices and other high tech surgical equipment that will enable MEDVAMC’s surgeons to perform minimally-invasive surgeries. The two new ORs will be used for vascular, cardiac, orthopedic spine and neurosurgery cases.

The combination of a traditional operating room with an image guided interventional suite will allow Houston VA surgeons to perform highly complex, advanced surgical procedures. The new state-of-the-art space will allow for the combination of image guided surgery with open procedures. “In total, our now four Hybrid ORs combine a conventional operating room with the latest imaging systems and laparoscopic equipment, making it possible for us to perform cutting edge vascular, cardiac, neurosurgery and orthopedic surgeries,” said Dr. Samir Awad, Chief of the Houston VA’s Operative Care Line. “We will be able to perform more minimally invasive procedures, improving access and making the recovery time for our Veterans much faster and less complicated.”

At MEDVAMC, a team of multi-disciplinary groups of clinicians work together to meet the complex needs of Veteran patients, said Awad. The versatility of these hybrid rooms allow for a diverse number of open and minimally invasive surgeries with all of the necessary capability and personnel in one space.

Last year surgeons at the Houston VA performed more than 9,500 surgeries, making it one of the busiest VA medical center surgery programs in the country. The addition of two new Hybrid ORs will add additional surgical space and capability to the highly complex medical center that currently serves more than 113,000 Veterans in southeastern Texas.

The most important benefit to having the new Hybrid ORs is that they will improve the quality of life for Veteran patients. “Patients typically experience shorter recovery times following a procedure in a hybrid OR, due to less stress from open surgeries,” said Dr. J. Kalavar, MEDVAMC Chief of Staff. “In addition, they have shorter lengths of stay in the hospital and recover much quicker. We are thrilled to be able to offer our Veterans the best of the best. They deserve nothing less.”

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