In July 2013, Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, KS, completed construction of a hybrid operating room. A hybrid OR combines medical imaging and the sterile environment of an operating room for patients to have a safe surgical procedure.
The 1,400-square-foot hybrid operating room was constructed from two traditional operating rooms. It was made for minimally invasive heart procedures, a type of surgery that is done with less damage to the body than an open surgery. This procedure is for patients who do not safely qualify for open-heart surgery.
Advanced heart care close to home
When the hybrid OR was finished, Ascension Via Christi began offering heart patients a new option of care called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This OR made more minimally invasive heart surgeries available for Wichitans to receive care close to home.
Since its first use in October 2013, more than 4,000 TAVR and other heart procedures have been performed in Wichita.
"Today, we’re a full-service program — one that offers many solutions for patients’ needs and wants to receive advanced treatment close to home and family," said interventional heart doctor Bassem Chehab, MD.
Collaborative patient heart care
Dr. Chehab and Brett Grizzell, MD, a heart surgeon, lead the structural heart team at Ascension Via Christi. The heart care team also includes doctors Richard Steckley, MD, Gaurav Tyagi, MD, and Aziz Maksoud, MD, along with Richard Allenbach, a physician assistant, and director of the Heart Valve Clinic.
A team approach has been the reason for the program’s success. "That has led to improved patient health, which is the ultimate measure of the program’s value," said Dr. Grizzell.
Since it’s opening, the heart valve program has added a transcatheter mitral valve (TMVR), and tricuspid valve repair and replacement surgery options. It was chosen as one of four global learning centers for Abbott, a medical device manufacturer that makes devices for patient hearts
"With more than 10 years of service to our community and patients, I am grateful to each team member who has helped us achieve this significant impact in heart care," said Dr. Chehab.
Kevin Strecker, the Ascension Senior Vice President and executive leader of the Kansas Ministry Market, said the team’s work has been a savior for its thousands of patients who had heart valve disease. "We are blessed to have such a skilled and compassionate team. They are committed to helping to save the lives of patients from all over Kansas and beyond," he said.