MedUni Vienna: Hybrid operating room - a success story: MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital lead the world in complex heart operations

International C3 Meeting for Cardiovascular Medicine in Vienna

The new hybrid operating room has now been in use at Vienna General Hospital/MedUni Vienna since August 2017 and is jointly run by the Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. It is the most modern of its kind in Europe and is distinguished by its outstanding imaging facility. "This enables us to carry out completely new operations via smaller and smaller approaches," explains heart surgeon Günther Laufer. "For the aortic valve in particular, transcatheter valve replacement is currently the technique of choice in high risk patients," adds cardiologist Christian Hengstenberg. Since the new OR came on stream, the Viennese doctors have successfully performed new operations, which are also much less stressful to patients: recently, a case of aortic insufficiency was alleviated by a new type of valve, which is actually still at the trial stage – even that was only possible with the aid of this angiography unit. This is the newest technology currently available in an interdisciplinary hybrid operating room.     

"The quality of fluoroscopy is unparalleled," says Martin Andreas from the Department of Surgery. "And, using special programs, it is possible to simultaneously feed previous findings (e.g. CT or ultrasound images) into the angiography unit, so that the full range of information can be used in the imaging. This makes it possible to carry out even the most complex surgeries on an interdisciplinary basis under optimum conditions and to develop new techniques," adds Georg Goliasch from the Department of Cardiology. The operation is monitored via a large screen. This gives patients the highest level of safety and surgeons the maximum control over the operation. There is also the benefit that the level of radiation exposure of patients and staff is minimal.

In this ultra-modern hybrid operating room, it is not only possible to carry out aortic valve implantation via the femoral artery, the ventricular apex or the aorta but also to repair mitral valves via the groin. The need for such complex and, at the same time, minimally invasive operating techniques is increasing worldwide.

International front-runners

The international elite in cardiovascular medicine are meeting in Vienna from 24 to 26 January for an interdisciplinary specialist meeting of cardiologists, heart surgeons, radiologists, anaesthetists and nursing staff: C3 Meeting (Consensus / Controversies / Compromise in Cardiovascular Medicine; The interdisciplinary organising team for the meeting comprises Günther Laufer and Martin Andreas (Division of Cardiac Surgery) and Christian Hengstenberg and Georg Goliasch (Division of Cardiology). Alongside specialist lectures from internationally renowned speakers, live operations will be streamed into the conference hall from Vienna General Hospital's hybrid operating room. Viennese doctors have already attracted considerable attention and a great deal of interest with similar live streaming into MedUni Vienna’s lecture center during the Long Night of Research in 2016 and 2018.

It has been possible to obtain globally renowned cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher Peter Libby from Harvard Medical School to give the Key Lecture on "Inflammation and atherosclerosis". More than anyone else, he has shaped the modern understanding of the development of atherosclerosis – the number one killer in our society.

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