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Special report: In the OR, the ceiling's getting crowded

by Kathy Mahdoubi, Senior Correspondent | April 22, 2011
From the April 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“They’re smaller and can be mounted on a light system instead of an equipment boom, bringing them closer to the surgeon and support staff,” says Down.

In the case of hybrid ORs, where surgery, interventional procedures and imaging are brought together in close quarters, there are a few more structural considerations in the planning phase than for a standard OR or imaging suite.

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“The amount of space to plan most hybrid rooms is going to be significantly larger than a traditional cath lab or even open heart room, because you’ve got to accommodate all of the equipment from these multiple modalities and the placement of that equipment is going to be based on each vendor that is chosen,” says Down.

Hybrid rooms really only started surfacing in 2004 and 2005, but today’s cutting-edge, multi-OEM contracted rooms began emerging around 2008. It has taken years to establish relationships, but now just about all major OEMs are working together.

“It made the planning process more streamlined for the owners, the architects and the equipment-planning community to have the vendors working in unison rather than independently," says Down.

Lights and monitors come and go
It’s not only important to bring instruments and imaging to the patient, it’s sometimes just as important to be able to move them away. Susan Sherman is in charge of U.S. sales and business development for MAVIG, German makers of ceiling support and radiation protection systems.

In addition to widescreen suspension systems, which can accommodate today’s mammoth 56-inch medical grade widescreen monitors, MAVIG also provides dual and multi-monitor systems that can support up to eight different monitors. One thing that makes the Portgera2 system, another MAVIG product, unique is its combined functionality as lighting system and radiation protection. With built-in shielding, the Portgera2 protects the physician's upper body from ionizing radiation.

“Its easy configurability can meet every facility’s clinical needs while accommodating individual physician preferences,” says Sherman. “The component choices include lighting, radiation shielding and single/dual monitor supports. There are nine different lighting options that range from a halogen exam lamp to the new multi-color LED lamps with video camera capabilities. The radiation shields offer eight different shield designs and styles.”

MRI on the ceiling
Suspending lights and monitors from the ceiling is only natural, but how about MRI systems? Catching on in the hybrid OR are interventional MRI procedures. IMRIS is the Manitoba, Canada-based maker of the IMRIS Neuro for tumor resection, the IMRIS NV for stroke management and the IMRIS Cardio for cardiovascular and angiography procedures. One of the most innovative features of these scanners is that they all hang and can move about on ceiling rails through one or more rooms.

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