Ultra High Definition operating theatre opens at the Royal

The Royal Liverpool University Hospital has unveiled a state-of-the-art operating theatre which uses 3-D maps for highly skilled surgery to repair veins and arteries.

The £3.7million hybrid theatre gives surgeons access to ultra-high definition imaging during surgery on serious conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).

An AAA is a swelling of the aorta – the largest blood vessel in the body that provides blood to the lower body. If an aneurysm bursts, it causes huge internal bleeding; 80% of people who suffer a ruptured AAA die before reaching hospital.

The theatre has been built on a temporary platform at the Royal so the innovative technology can be transferred to the new Royal when it opens in 2017. The surrounding structure will be transferred to Broadgreen Hospital to provide further operating space.

Using an electronic arm – known as a ‘C arm’ – which moves in tandem with a carbon-fibre operating table, the advanced technology provides ultra-clear images to guide the surgeon through the complex network of arteries.

Ultra-clear high quality visuals provide less fatigue for the operating team and uses lower doses of radiation and contrast material, making it safer for patients and staff.

George Hasset, 74, cut the ribbon on the new theatre, having been one of the first patients to benefit from the new theatre when he underwent surgery on a complex aortic aneurysm.

George, from Broadgreen, said:

“As with most procedures, you’re not aware of your surroundings. When I found out my procedure took place in this high-tech theatre, I was blown away. These surgeons saved my life and without them I wouldn’t be here to cut this ribbon. I just want to say thank you. It’s an honour to be able to open this theatre and thank the whole team for what they did for me.”

Professor Rao Vallabhaneni, consultant vascular and endovascular surgeon at the Royal, said:

“The new hybrid theatre is one the most modern of medical environments. With this we will stay at the forefront of vascular surgery and can continue to offer our patients some of the most advanced treatments with the very best in safety and accuracy. Building a temporary structure for a state-of-the-art facility that can be transferred to our other site was challenging. This shows that, while we are investing in the future of healthcare with the new Royal, we remain committed to excellence in today’s healthcare too.”

The Royal provides vascular services as part of the Liverpool Vascular and Endovascular Services (LiVES) which connects the Trust with neighbouring hospitals across Merseyside.

To find out more about the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust’s AAA Screening Programme, call 0151 706 4767 or go to www.nhs.uk/aaa to find out more about AAA screening programmes near you.

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