Posted on December 28, 2016

State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment that has been permanently integrated into Hamad General Hospital’s operating theaters is revolutionising surgical practice at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) largest hospital and providing patients with even better care.

Earlier this year, Hamad General Hospital inaugurated a new 10,000 square meter operating theater expansion that features 20 newly equipped surgical theaters. This month another milestone was achieved with the first patient undergoing surgery using the hybrid MRI operating room.

“A hybrid operating room is a surgical theater that is equipped with advanced medical imaging devices such as a MRI scanner, CT scanner, or an angiogram. At Hamad General Hospital, there are three hybrid operating rooms that have this real-time imaging technology and this will change the way surgeons perform a variety of specialist surgeries, especially neurosurgery. The new Brainlab technology allows for a more precise surgical procedure, enabling minimally-invasive surgeries which are less traumatic for the patient,” said Dr. Ghanem Al-Sulaiti, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Head of Neurosurgery at HMC.

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Commenting on the advantages of such hybrid operating rooms, Dr. Al-Sulaiti, who is also President of the Gulf Neurosurgical Society and the Qatar Society for Neurological and Spine Surgery said: “Combining imaging technology with the operating room is transforming surgical care. Surgeons are now collaborating with neuroanesthesiologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgery staff to make assessments using real-time imaging. Our first case using the hybrid MRI operating room is an important milestone for HMC as it means that patients can now have MRI imaging during surgery.”

He added: “This is significant because it means, for example, that a surgeon operating on a patient with a brain tumor is now able to maximize tumor resectioning. This means there is less chance of causing damage to the brain structure around the tumor.” Dr. Al-Sulaiti highlighted that the introduction of the new imaging technology meant that more surgical procedures would now be possible for HMC, especially for functional neurosurgery, which addresses the treatment of patients with neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

The opening of the newly equipped surgical theaters and their hybrid operating rooms are part of a wider expansion plan that is revitalizing Hamad General Hospital. In addition to the operating theater expansion, a new 19-bed Trauma Intensive Care Unit and 15-bed Surgical Intensive Care Unit were also opened in June of this year. Dr. Al-Sulaiti concluded: “Hybrid operating rooms provide a number of benefits to patients, including combined procedures previously not possible. With more accurate procedures, patient recovery may also be faster and some patients with conditions that were formerly deemed inoperable may be able to undergo procedures.”