Hybrid Surgery

June 27, 2008 8:01:11 PM PDT
Teamwork is essential in any workplace but on the operating table, it's a life-saver.Doctor John Ofenloch is a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon. His job is to make an incision to get to a vessel. Doctor Eric Lopez Del Valle is an Interventional Neuro-Radiologist. He fixes a problem from inside the vessel without an incision.

Eric L. Del Valle, M.D.: "The main thing is you have two physicians in different practices trying to come together for one goal, which is to treat patients."

The two took part in what's called a hybrid surgery when two doctors from different specialties work together. John Ofenloch, M.D.: "The hybrid approach will become more and more common. The patients are older with more complex disease."

The patient in this case is Michael Brown. His vessels were so blocked in his arms and leg that his only option was a hybrid treatment.

Michael Brown: "Dr. Ofenloch, for one, said I was a walking time bomb. I was scared, nervous you know."

For the hybrid procedure, Doctor Ofenloch first opened the area in his neck to help Doctor Lopez get to the vessel and stent the artery open. It was the only way to get to the blocked area.

Eric L. Del Valle, M.D.: "This gentleman was living out of four main arteries that go to the brain he was living off of one that was diseased."

Because the two doctors worked together, they were able to give Michael a second chance. The blockage is now completely open.

Michael Brown: "They saved my life. I feel that Ofenloch and Lopez saved my life."

Now, Michael tries to do his part. He quit smoking and walks his neighborhood every day.

Some hospitals have even created hybrid operating rooms to help doctors easily work together for these types of complicated cases.


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