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Lourdes Enhances Surgical Capabilities with New Hybrid Lab

A new Post Anesthetic Care Unit and hybrid operating suite recently established at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is enhancing Lourdes’ neurosurgical and cardiovascular surgery capabilities. The new facility combines the advanced imaging capabilities of a cardiac catheterization laboratory with the environment of a traditional operating room.

At the heart of the new lab is the biplane angiography system, a type of digital X-ray that constructs a real-time, three-dimensional roadmap of blood vessels leading to the brain and deep within it, as well as the relationship of vessels to tissues of the head and neck. Images produced by the biplane aid neurosurgeons in performing endovascular procedures such as clot removal, aneurysm repair and the treatment of arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery blockages, brain and neck tumors and intracranial hemorrhages.

The system also is used for advanced diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and implantation of devices such as the Watchman (for stroke reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation).

The hybrid lab can easily be transformed for conventional open surgery if the need arises without transporting the patient to a second operating room or a different team of specialists–increasing safety and efficiency, said Alexander J. Hatala, Lourdes Health System President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The hybrid lab continues the tradition of innovation that Lourdes is known for,” said Hatala. “Serving our patients to the best of our ability is at the core of what we do. The hybrid lab delivers on that commitment and is another example of how Lourdes is at the forefront of providing advanced patient care.”

Recently, Lourdes expanded its partnership with Global Neurosciences Institute (GNI) to create a comprehensive hub for neurosurgery in South Jersey. The partnership allows Lourdes to offer advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures for stroke, brain aneurysms and other brain and spinal conditions that previously required patients to be transferred to another facility. Microsurgical and catheter-based procedures performed in the new hybrid operating suite at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center reduce post-operative pain, speed recovery and shorten hospital stays.

In addition, GNI neurology subspecialists see patients at LourdesCare at Cherry Hill. These physicians specialize in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive disorders, dementia, concussions, Parkinson’s disease/movement disorders, epilepsy, comprehensive pain management and neuropsychology.

“Through this partnership and the new hybrid suite, we are bringing world-class neurosurgical care to South Jersey,” said Erol Veznedaroglu, MD, FACS, FAANS, FAHA, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon who leads GNI. “Patients have access to the latest medical procedures, clinical trials and medications for treatment of their condition.”

Dr. Veznedaroglu, also known as “Dr. Vez,” is featured in a video tour of the hybrid lab that can be found at In it, he and Kenneth Liebman, MD, FACS, FAANS, and key members of the perioperative team explain the features and advantages of this advanced technology.

Lourdes is known for its innovation in heart care and is one of the largest providers of cardiac services in the Delaware Valley. In June 2015, the New York Times featured Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center as a national model in the effective and swift treatment of heart attacks (

Lourdes has received a variety of awards, including being named as one of nations’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery by Healthgrades (2017), and the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll by the American Heart Association/

American Stroke Association. Lourdes’ cardiac program has also garnered national recognition from Truven Health Analytics and Becker’s Hospital Review.

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