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Leipzig University Hospital puts three new high-precision operating theaters into operation

Expansion of the central OR of the Operational Center completed with innovative hybrid systems and integrated high-end imaging and navigation for better patient care.

Leipzig. With a ceremonial opening on September 6, 2022, the extension of the central surgical area at the University Hospital Leipzig (UKL) went into operation. This means that three additional operating theaters with intraoperative imaging are now available for patient care, equipped with the latest navigation and device technology such as an integrated CT, MRI and angiography system, enabling a new form of high-precision surgery. The UKL now has the most modern operating theaters in central Germany.

​​​​​​​​​​​​Two and a half years of extensions and conversions during ongoing operation of the operating theater lie behind the physicians and project teams when the operating theater extension at Leipzig University Hospital is opened. During this time, a new wing was built over the vascular medicine center, which was completed in 2017, on a good 1000 square meters to supplement the existing 12 central operating rooms at the UKL. Its heart: three modern rooms with innovative hybrid equipment technology for the use of imaging procedures directly during the intervention in connection with navigation techniques as a directly connected supplement to the existing central operating room. Together, this forms the prerequisite for top-class, computer-aided, high-precision surgery.

The special features: A 3 Tesla MRT (magnetic resonance tomograph) and an associated radiological workstation are integrated in one of the new halls. Due to the direct connection of the operating area with the MRT, control examinations can be carried out during an operation. In this way, it is checked whether a tumor has been recognized and recorded completely or as comprehensively as possible - a decisive factor for the survival of those affected. In this way, important structures are better protected and diseased tissue is still safely removed - a procedure that plays an important role, especially in neurosurgery for brain tumors.​

In the second new room, with the help of a mobile computer tomograph (CT) and a so-called 3D C-arm, complicated operations on the spine, the pelvis or all joints can be carried out with integrated image control during the operation. The CT data flows directly to the navigation system, which is also integrated, for computer-aided planning for the correct placement of the implants - a decisive factor for their long-term stability and the protection of important anatomical structures.

In the third hybrid operating room, the UKL vascular specialists in angiology and vascular surgery have access to a state-of-the-art, radiation-reduced angiography system with all the necessary additional equipment, such as a wireless ultrasound device. This system is mainly used in complicated operations on the aorta and other large blood vessels to treat aneurysms and shows the exact course and condition of the vessels to be operated on.

This also opens up new possibilities in the care of accident victims and emergencies, also thanks to the direct connection of all central operating theaters at the UKL to the emergency room and intensive care units.

"These three hybrid operating rooms herald a new era of high-end surgery for us," says Prof. Christoph Josten, Medical Director of the UKL, at the opening. "With the help of the new devices and the software, we can carry out the most complex interventions with high precision and with maximum safety and gentleness for our patients, avoid complications as far as possible and ultimately save lives," says Josten. "We owe the fact that we can do this to the Free State of Saxony, which made this possible with funding of over 30 million euros for the construction, equipment and devices," adds Dr. Robert Jacob, Commercial Director of UKL.

At the opening, Minister of State Sebastian Gemkow was able to see for himself that this money was well invested. “For many years now, the Leipzig University Hospital has had continuously expanded expertise in the surgical treatment of complex cases, especially in emergency medicine,” said the Saxon Science Minister. »The state-of-the-art halls help to further expand this competence and thus further improve the care of the citizens of the entire region. I am very pleased to be able to put this place of high-performance surgery into operation today.«

Challenge: Cultivation during operation

In order to connect the new rooms to the existing operating theater wing of the UKL with 12 rooms, three connecting bridges were built, which connect directly to the existing sterile operating room corridors. In addition, the expansion of the holding area (sleep and recovery room) and the operating room adjoining zones also resulted in more spacious sterile goods storage rooms, extended staff airlocks, a nice lounge and new offices for the operating room staff at the UKL. As a special task, in addition to the pandemic in recent years, it also had to handle the conversion. Because operations continued in the existing halls, separated from the construction site area by protective measures such as dust protection walls - a major challenge in a sterile area whose work was only interrupted for a short time due to operations being relocated within the clinic. Many individual areas of the OR even moved several times.

In order to connect the new building with the existing part of the building, demanding work with numerous drillings and chiseling work in the existing building structure was also necessary. "All of these measures demanded a high degree of flexibility and commitment from the employees," says Dr. Robert Jacob, Commercial Director of UKL. "We would like to take this opportunity to expressly thank all employees, but also our patients and our partners for their understanding of the burdens associated with the construction in recent years," says Jacob.

First operations on September 5th

The first operations in the new halls were performed on September 5 by vascular surgeons together with angiologists using the new angiography system. In a 66-year-old patient and an 82-year-old patient, aneurysms (bulges) in the main artery were treated with so-called stent grafts. These complex and life-saving procedures, in which individually adapted vascular endoprostheses were used, were minimally invasive and therefore very gentle on the patients.

Source: Press release University Hospital Leipzig from 06.09.2022

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