ALBANY, N.Y., August 28, 2006 —A young patient with a condition that causes blood clots and swelling of the arms can come to Albany Med for a single operation, rather than two or three separate procedures required previously.
Similarly, an older patient with insufficient blood supply to the bowels caused by narrowed arteries can have a bypass as well as stents put in during one less invasive procedure in a single visit to the operating room. In the past, such patients would either need two procedures on separate days or would need to be taken from one location to another during their operative treatment.
All this is possible thanks to the fact that Albany Medical Center is the only medical facility in northeastern New York to have a special advanced vascular suite in its operating rooms that incorporates the latest technology to enable the vascular surgeons to do minimally invasive catheter procedures as well as traditional surgery in the same room.
The suite’s dual capabilities can be lifesaving in a crisis. For example, consider the case of a high-risk, elderly patient who is receiving a stent for a blocked carotid artery through a minimally invasive catheterization procedure. In the rare but potential case that the stent cannot be successfully placed, the medical team can quickly switch to a traditional surgical approach without having to waste precious minutes by physically moving the patient to another procedural room.
The $1.9 million combined operative/endovascular suite is outfitted with digital fluoroscopic imaging equipment that allows for a 3-D picture of blood vessels and arteries, also enabling vascular surgeons to perform complex “hybrid” endovascular/open procedures simultaneously. Hybrid approaches usually combine bypass with stenting without a major incision.
“The high-tech, 3-D technology allows us to very accurately visualize what we are doing from head to toes,” said Manish Mehta, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, vascular surgeon, interventional vascular specialist, and physician with The Vascular Group, PLLC.
Vascular conditions (affecting the body’s internal “pipes” located outside of the heart and
the brain—including veins, arteries, lymphatics and sympathetic nerves) that require intervention have traditionally been treated with “open” surgery in the operating room or endovascularly, the minimally invasive, catheter-based approach, in the endovascular suite. However, more and more often the best approach is to combine techniques.
“By doing so patients are receiving less anesthesia and spending less time in the hospital,” said R. Clement Darling, M.D., vascular surgeon, professor of surgery and chief of the division of vascular surgery, and physician with The Vascular Group, PLLC.
“Considering that most often we are treating older patients, any time we can decrease stress on the body by limiting the number of procedures they are better off,” added Dr. Mehta.
Other procedures performed in the suite have included the endovascular repair of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, carotid artery stenting and carotid endarterectomy to prevent stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation in the legs) for limb salvage or improving quality of life.
Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of Albany Medical College, Albany Medical Center Hospital; and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. Additional information about Albany Medical Center can be found at www.amc.edu.