Many cardiovascular problems can be treated in the
cardiac catheterization lab—also known as the cath lab—where heart abnormalities can be
corrected with minimally invasive procedures. Other cardiac problems require
surgery in a traditional operating room. Torrance Memorial Medical Center
can do it all in a
state-of-the-art hybrid operating room at its
Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute: The hybrid OR gives the hospital’s vascular surgeons and interventional
cardiologists maximum flexibility to use the treatments most appropriate
for each patient.
Over the past decade, medicine has been rapidly moving away from maximally
invasive open surgery toward minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures.
A hybrid operating room is set up for those sophisticated procedures,
while also meeting the sterility and equipment standards of a traditional
operating room. It allows providers to perform high-risk, minimally invasive
procedures and switch to open surgery without moving the patient if a
dire complication arises.
The hybrid OR is used to perform a full range of endovascular services,
including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. It’s also used for carotid
artery stenting, a procedure in which a tube or other device is used to
expand the vital arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the head and
neck, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.
In the not-so-distant past, complicated heart procedures could only be
performed using open-heart surgery. Today physicians use angiography,
taking advantage of the pathways of the arteries to reach the heart.
Rather than cutting into the body, they can make a small nick in the skin
to feed a thin, hollow tube—called a catheter—into a nearby
blood vessel. Threading the catheter along the arteries to reach the heart,
physicians can access blood vessels and open arteries, open or replace
valves, and correct heart defects.
“Having the imaging systems necessary for angiography as well as
the equipment necessary for open incisions gives us the ability to perform
procedures that require both modalities in the most effective manner,”
says vascular surgeon
Amir Kaviani, MD. “Torrance Memorial Medical Center was the first hospital in Southern
California to create a hybrid lab in 2007, a radical advancement in vascular
An even more advanced hybrid OR was central to the hospital’s plans
for the Lundquist Tower. With the tower’s November 2014 opening,
the new hybrid OR paved the way for the medical center to become first
in the South Bay to offer even more advanced procedures such as
transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR.
TAVR enables patients once considered inoperable due to complex medical
conditions to undergo lifeextending heart valve replacement. A catheter
is used to insert and precisely position an artificial heart valve. A
balloon is inflated inside the valve to cause it to spring open; with
the passage re-opened, the heart can more easily pump blood to the rest
of the body.
One patient who underwent TAVR at Torrance Memorial Medical Center was
95 years old. “She was very symptomatic and very frail—not
a good candidate for open heart surgery,” says interventional cardiologist
Salman Azam, MD. “The results of the procedure were excellent, and she was discharged
home within a few days.
Torrance Memorial Medical Center is now at the forefront of cardiovascular
treatment options, performing cutting-edge procedures and surgeries to
provide the best outcomes for patients with cardiac diseases. The state-of-the-art
hybrid OR, TAVR procedure and the new Lundquist Tower are just a few examples
of the dedication and commitment Torrance Memorial has to its patients.”
In addition to TAVR, an array of vascular procedures are performed in the
hybrid OR. Some of these include:
- Repair of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms (bulges in the aorta
at risk of bursting)
- Carotid artery stenting (opening a blockage in the carotid artery and placing
a small tube to keep the artery open)
- Peripheral angiography and intervention (diagnosing and treating blockages
in the arteries of the legs and lower body).
For more information about treatments available at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center or for referral to a heart specialist, please call 310-517-4700.