Introducing the All-New Hybrid Operating Suite

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation seeks to support the essentials for excellence in patient care by fundraising for advanced, state-of-the-art technology that will impact the lives of the 2.3 million residents in the region it supports.

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation (HHSF) is once again leading the way by supporting the need for innovative and clinically advanced healthcare for the communities it supports. HHSF is currently in the process of fundraising for a brand new, state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Suite for Hamilton General Hospital. This initiative will allow a multidisciplinary team of experts to perform minimally invasive surgeries and traditional open surgeries all in one space. It will also allow specialists to perform procedures that are currently done open, in an endovascular (through the blood vessels) manner instead.

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
Dr. Ted Rapanos

“Vascular surgery is a continuously evolving profession where devices are getting more specific and more detailed every day. Having the Hybrid Operating Suite will allow us to perform even more complex procedures, that we currently perform open, in an endovascular environment. What this translates to are significantly lower risks and shorter hospital stays for our patients. This is a huge benefit to our patient population,” explains Dr. Rapanos.

Dr. Rapanos is one of the vascular surgeons at Hamilton General Hospital and has been there for seven years. Prior to working at Hamilton General, he was trained in Toronto, at McMaster University and at Stanford University in California. Dr. Rapanos specializes in endovascular surgeries and is the Program Director for the vascular surgery residency program at McMaster. With Hamilton General Hospital being an academic teaching hospital, residents of Dr. Rapanos’ program will train at this facility.

Hamilton General Hospital performs more cardiac and vascular surgeries in a year than any other hospital in Ontario. The entire HHS network of hospitals serves 2.3 million residents and is the second largest hospital group in Ontario. Hamilton Health Sciences is the regional specialty network and referral centre not only for cardiac patients, but also burn victims, trauma cases, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, pediatrics and so much more; and yet, Hamilton General will be one of the last hospitals in North America to implement this advanced technology.

“A lot of centres in the U.S that perform similar complex cases like ours already have hybrid suites. The thing is, these centres might do three or four of these advanced cases in a year. We did a total of 220 endovascular aneurysm repairs last year. We also have one of the most sought after academic programs for training in endovascular surgery in the country. The bottom line is we would be able to achieve a lot of positive outcomes with this state-of-the-art technology,” Dr. Rapanos explains.

What is a Hybrid Operating Suite?

Hamilton Health Sciences FoundationThe hybrid operating suite was given its name because it combines two very different types of surgery in one environment. It will allow for Hamilton General Hospital’s expert team of cardiovascular surgeons to complete both traditional open surgeries and minimally invasive surgeries in one operating theatre.

This type of operating suite uses imaging technology that helps guide surgeons with real-time images which limits the margin for unexpected complications during a procedure. The advanced imaging software also shows a great deal more detail than the older technology, allowing surgeons to access even the most difficult vessels in a patient. The machines in this type of environment also produce significantly less radiation than the current technology does. Radiation not only affects the patient, but also the doctors, the nurses and the trainees that are in the operating suite during any procedure.

“This year, we had two emergency cases come into the hospital. They were both young men who had been involved in serious car accidents that resulted in their aortas being torn in half. If we had a Hybrid Operating Suite, taking care of these patients would have been a lot smoother. Both patients were saved, but my point is it would have been easier, faster, caused less radiation exposure to everyone involved with a much smaller margin for unexpected complications,” Dr. Rapanos recalls.

Benefits of the Hybrid Operating Suite:

Shorter surgical times

Faster recovery

Less pain

Smaller scars

Opportunities for patients to undergo procedures they would not otherwise qualify for

Lower risk of post-operative complications

Decreased use of anesthesia

Reduced need for some patients to undergo multiple procedures

HHSF is actively fundraising for the $3 million needed so that the hospital can build this suite. A common misconception is that the majority of hospital equipment is funded through the government, when in reality this is not the case. As a result, this suite cannot be built until HHSF raises the necessary proceeds from the community.

As a partner of HHSF through the Care4 Cause Marketing Program, Mercedes-Benz Burlington makes an annual contribution of $35,000 to support their initiatives to fund essential equipment needed at their supported hospital sites. Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is a registered charitable organization, which includes Hamilton General Hospital Foundation, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation, McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation and all of their associated programs.

For more information on HHSF and the Hybrid Operating Suite, to view videos explaining more about the suite and to hear from patients and surgeons about this project’s importance and impact or to make a contribution to this cause, please visit