Houston Methodist Hospital recently opened its 22-story Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower, offering the newest, most precise imaging and surgical equipment for complex heart and brain surgeries.
The nationally ranked Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and Houston Methodist Neurological Institute moved into the new building. Cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, neurosurgeons and neurologists from these centers believe the advanced technology will transform care and become the new standard for similar facilities around the country.
“We needed space to grow and the most up-to-date technology in the world in order to provide the best patient care possible,” said Dr. Gavin Britz. “This puts us in the top tier.”
“It’s a transformational moment,” said Dr. Alan Lumsden, chair of Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery. The upgraded facility has what he describes as “the most advanced cardiothoracic operating rooms that exist.”
The new hybrid ORs feature built-in advanced imaging capabilities. Intraoperative imaging technology, including MRI, CT and angiography, may be used during surgery for patients with tumors, aneurysms or strokes. Surgeons can scan patients halfway through procedures and immediately react to specific needs. They also can take CT scans done weeks ago and fuse them in real time to images scanned during surgery. With this technology, surgeons can identify changes that may have developed in since images were last taken. Another new technology is the latest generation of the Gamma Knife — a device that delivers high radiation doses to the brain with pinpoint accuracy without harming healthy tissue.
For patients facing intricate brain surgeries, imaging technology guides surgeons in locating and removing diseased areas, such as blood clots from strokes or cancerous tumors. The technology allows real-time imaging, enabling surgeons to deftly navigate the brain’s complex terrain.
Houston Methodist’s new robotic-assisted technology, which minimizes tissue damage and maximizes precision, can be used for up to 80 percent of procedures involving the lungs and esophagus.
The expansive OR suites can be used for every form of open-heart surgery, with minimally invasive cardiac procedures performed in the tower’s 14 interventional catheterization labs. These treatments, including cardiac bypass and valve replacement, involve threading a catheter through an artery from the groin or other area to the heart, which reduces the need for lengthy incisions.
Additionally, four hybrid operating rooms combine features of a catheterization lab and traditional OR, allowing doctors to rapidly convert from a minimally invasive procedure to an open version, if necessary.
The facility’s enhanced technology enables heart and brain surgeons to deliver state-of-the-art treatment when precision matters most.
· Robotic-assisted technology improves the safety and speed of surgery, resulting in faster healing and shorter hospital stays.
· Real-time visibility with intraoperative imaging maximizes surgical precision allowing surgeons to better locate and remove diseased areas, such as blood clots or cancerous tumors.
· Imaging technology available in the OR leads to better results. Doctors can diagnose and perform procedures in a single location, rather than transport patients to radiology and back to the OR.
· Image-guided precision and less-invasive surgery means fewer repeat procedures, faster recoveries and potentially improved outcomes.
· Private rooms for all patients offer greater comfort for recovery and more space for visiting family and friends.