The first hybrid operating room opens at Sunnybrook, thanks to donor support

January 24, 2022

On January 13, roughly a dozen members of a multidisciplinary surgical team came together for the first time in Sunnybrook’s new hybrid operating room to save the life of a patient in need of urgent care.

The procedure was carried out smoothly, and the quality and precision of the advanced imaging and equipment used that day was described as “breathtaking” by one of the surgeons, “better than the best equipment I had ever seen up until now.”

The Blake & Belinda Goldring and Family Hybrid Operating Room is the first operating room of its kind here at Canada’s largest regional trauma centre at Sunnybrook. It combines a surgical theatre, an angiography suite, a cardiac catheterization laboratory and an imaging suite all-in-one, bringing the latest advances and the future of surgical care to patients now.

This new integrated space will improve Sunnybrook’s ability to deliver life-saving care for even more patients, including Ontario’s most seriously injured and ill patients, who are rushed to Sunnybrook from more than 80 referring hospitals by air or land ambulance requiring multiple complex surgeries. It is also a testament to the power of philanthropy. This vision was made possible by lead support from Blake & Belinda Goldring and the Giovanni & Anna DeGasperis Family (Michael, Carlo and Silvio), who in turn inspired Sunnybrook's community of donors to make this project a reality.

When every second counts

The hybrid operating room enhances collaboration across different specialties, ensuring that Sunnybrook can bring both the latest in advanced imaging and the very best in skill from our team of experts directly to the patient.

Multidisciplinary teams of trauma surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, interventional radiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and more are now able to work in tandem on patients with complex time-sensitive problems. Together they can treat patients with a range of conditions involving the brain, heart, cancer, major blood vessels, high-risk mothers and babies, and trauma patients who might have multiple competing care priorities that can only be managed in a setting with all available expertise and resources.

Every second counts for the critically ill and injured patients we treat at Sunnybrook. Our surgical teams will no longer need to factor in time to reposition and transfer patients with multiple complex injuries between the operating room for surgery, the angiography suite to stop bleeding or the imaging suite for diagnostic guidance.

Improving care for neurosurgical, heart and vascular patients

The new hybrid operating room will support patients in need of procedures that require a high degree of precision, such as a brain bleed, craniofacial damage or spinal injuries.

Cardiac and vascular surgeons will be able to efficiently perform both minimally invasive procedures and open surgeries in the same space on the same day, reducing hospital trips for the patient. The hybrid operating room will allow surgeons more flexibility in the procedures they can offer a patient, creating more precise and personalized treatment options.

The state-of-the-art imaging in the hybrid operating room will support patients with immobilizing spinal fractures. It will also eliminate the need for post-operative imaging, which will reduce hospital stays for patients, allowing them to return to their lives more quickly.

“This is the future of surgical care,” says Dr. Avery Nathens, Sunnybrook’s Surgeon-in-Chief. “In this space, we will champion the next breakthroughs in complex surgical care, continue delivering the highest quality care and train the next generation of leaders. We are grateful to all the donors who believed in our vision.”