Hamad General Hospital’s Hybrid Operating Room Among First of its Kind in the Middle East Region
Doha, 23 July, 2019: Late last week a team of surgeons at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad General Hospital performed a complex brain surgery on a ten-year-old girl from Bahrain. The completion of the complicated surgery is significant as it marks the first time the operation has been performed on a pediatric patient using Hamad General Hospital’s hybrid operating room.
Dr. Siraj Belkhair, Interim Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Hamad General Hospital, said the hybrid operating room enables real-time navigation and immediate evaluation of a procedure's success, both of which improve patient care and health outcomes.
“Our patient had experienced a brain bleed in November 2017 as a result of a congenital vascular condition in the brain that is usually diagnosed after it causes bleeding or seizure. She was initially treated with endovascular embolization, which is a procedure that involves putting a catheter through the groin to reach the brain to inject a glue-like material that will occlude abnormal collections of blood vessels that causes bleeding,” explained Dr. Belkhair.
“Interventionists from the Endovascular Department injected glue material to close the arteriovenous malformation in her brain and to prevent further brain bleeding, but on follow-up angiogram, it was discovered that the arteriovenous malformation had started to open again and it was determined there was a risk of re-bleeding in her brain. We consulted with her parents and the decision was made to remove the arteriovenous malformation,” added Dr. Belkhair.
Dr. Belkhair, who is also the Program Director of HMC’s Neurosurgery Training Program, said the patient had a condition called cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which causes an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain.
He said Hamad General Hospital’s hybrid operating room, which is the first of its kind in Qatar and one of only a few in the region, puts diagnostic imaging and radiology services next door to an operating room, allowing multistage procedures that were previously performed in separate locations and at separate times to be completed in one scheduled appointment time and location.
“Traditionally, patients undergoing this procedure are moved from the operating room to the intensive care unit and then to an MRI or angiography suite to determine whether a procedure was successful. Having ready access to the highest quality imaging equipment during surgery decreases the need for follow-up surgeries and lessens the amount of time the patient is under anesthesia, which shortens the patient’s recovery period and the overall time spent in the hospital,” said Dr. Belkhair.
“All of these steps were saved by having the hybrid operating room. We were able to do an angiogram while we were resecting arteriovenous malformation to make sure that we had completed the re-sectioning of the arteriovenous malformation. The surgery was done in three hours and the child was discharged home after two days. Today she is a completely healthy ten-year-old,” added Dr. Belkhair.
Since opening in December 2016, around 19 patients have benefited from Hamad General Hospital’s hybrid operating room facility.
Dr. Belkhair said the use of the hybrid operating room for pediatric patients is significant as it means children are spending less time under anesthesia and their exposure to radiation for treatments is minimized, which all translates to safer care and a better experience for patients and their families. He said the success of last week’s milestone surgery was a team effort, with teams from across Hamad General Hospital, including the Neuroradiology Department, all playing an essential role.