July 27, 2021

Photo Essay: The Spaces and Tools Behind Our Cardiovascular Care

Get a glimpse of the facilities and technologies used by the nation’s top-ranked heart program

Today’s release of the 2021-22 “Best Hospitals” rankings by U.S. News & World Report marks the 27th straight year that Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has been recognized as the nation’s No. 1 program for cardiology and heart surgery.

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The program’s core strength is its caregivers, who deliver unsurpassed outcomes and experience to patients day in and day out. These caregivers’ achievements stem mostly from qualities involving the science and art of medicine — intangibles like training, dedication and empathy. But those intangibles require spaces and tools to be put into action, and Cleveland Clinic is proud to offer its patients the finest facilities and technologies to meet their needs.

To share how these tools enable Cleveland Clinic cardiac, vascular and thoracic caregivers to do what they do best every day, Consult QD presents a photo essay in the gallery below. Although far from comprehensive, it shares a few examples of how Cleveland Clinic teams are leveraging leading-edge equipment and facilities to realize every advancement that’s possible for patients who come from around the globe for Cleveland Clinic care.

<p><strong>HYBRID OPERATING ROOMS</strong> (photo 1 of 3): Several Cleveland Clinic hospitals house hybrid operating rooms (ORs). The six hybrid ORs on the main campus include the two largest in any U.S. health system. Thanks to their size, these hybrid ORs can accommodate both open surgery cases and complex interventional cases that rely on advanced imaging using state-of-the-art biplane fluoroscopy or robotic fluoroscopy arms.</p>

<p><strong>HYBRID OPERATING ROOMS</strong> (2 of 3): The unique layout of the hybrid ORs provides immediate access to surgical tools for hybrid cases and interventional emergencies, including ready-to-use cardiopulmonary bypass equipment and optimal anesthesiology support. Multiple monitors enable procedural flexibility, allowing approaches from any side of the body.</p>

<p><strong>HYBRID OPERATING ROOMS</strong> (3 of 3): The hybrid ORs are designed to integrate various imaging technologies, including vessel fusion, DynaCT, 3D transesophageal echocardiography, IOPS radiation-free navigation, intravascular ultrasound and OCT imaging. These hybrid ORs facilitate coordinated care delivery by interdisciplinary teams to treat some of the most complex cases of aortic, cardiac, peripheral vascular and heart rhythm disease.</p>

<p><strong>3D-PRINTED HEART REPLICAS</strong> (1 of 3): Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute clinicians take advantage of the 3D printing lab in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute to produce a steady stream of 3D-printed heart replicas to facilitate planning for procedures in patients with especially complex anatomic features.</p>

<p><strong>3D-PRINTED HEART REPLICAS</strong> (2 of 3): The replicas are based on advanced multimodality imaging. Replicas like the examples shown in these images have enabled new, innovative surgical and interventional repairs of complex congenital heart defects.</p>

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<p><strong>3D-PRINTED HEART REPLICAS</strong> (3 of 3): Additional applications of the 3D-printed replicas include use in planning percutaneous interventions for structural heart disease.</p>

<p><strong>ROBOTICS IN THE CATH LAB</strong> (1 of 2): Interventional cardiology staff continue to expand their use of the robotic system that was installed in cath labs on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in 2019. The system benefits operators by drastically reducing their radiation exposure and lowering risk of orthopaedic injury by allowing them to avoid prolonged standing wearing lead aprons. </p>

<p><strong>ROBOTICS IN THE CATH LAB</strong> (2 of 2): Current applications of the robotic system include a full range of coronary interventions, including those for chronic total occlusions, with more applications potentially on the horizon. Along with the potential for more accurate lesion measurement, the technology promises to eventually enable remote treatment via “telestenting.”</p>

<p><strong>BUSTLING ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY LABS</strong> (1 of 2): Cleveland Clinic’s main campus is home to nine leading-edge electrophysiology (EP) labs, where expert electrophysiologists have performed nearly 30,000 EP procedures over the past five years. These labs include multiple 3D mapping and ablation systems using the most advanced technologies, allowing staff to contribute to the latest research protocols exploring new strategies for ablation.</p>

<p><strong>BUSTLING ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY LABS</strong> (2 of 2): One of the EP labs is a hybrid operating room and EP lab, and all are equipped to allow backup support from Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeons if a complication should arise. An additional preclinical EP lab is kept busy by researchers pursuing translational research advancements.</p>

<p><strong>EX VIVO LUNG PERFUSION</strong> (1 of 2): A dedicated team of physicians, nurses and perfusionists keeps Cleveland Clinic’s XPS™ system for ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) in frequent use, allowing Cleveland Clinic surgeons to perform more than 75 lung transplants involving EVLP to date.</p>

<p><strong>EX VIVO LUNG PERFUSION</strong> (2 of 2): The EVLP system is helping narrow the gap between donor lung supply and demand by prolonging lung preservation outside the body, allowing marginal donor lungs to be treated to make them transplantable, and enabling rapid assessment of lungs from last-minute organ offers.</p>

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<p><strong>DEDICATED CARDIAC SURGERY ROBOT</strong> (1 of 2): Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeons have completed over 2,000 operations using a state-of-the-art robotic surgical platform dedicated solely to cardiac surgery. The robot’s high-definition camera and advanced instrumentation enable unmatched visualization and mobility with minimal invasiveness for the patient.</p>

<p><strong>DEDICATED CARDIAC SURGERY ROBOT</strong> (2 of 2): The surgical team is now expanding use of the robotic platform beyond mitral valve repair to procedures including myectomy and more.</p>

<p><strong>EXTENSIVE ICU RESOURCES:</strong> Cleveland Clinic’s main campus serves cardiovascular patients’ critical care needs through a 24-bed cardiac intensive care unit (ICU), a 10-bed heart failure ICU and a 95-bed postoperative cardiovascular ICU. Here a wide spectrum of patients receive intensive monitoring and care, including the latest in temporal mechanical circulatory support. Beds are spacious, with advanced monitoring systems that facilitate bedside nursing and clinical care. All the ICUs have dedicated procedure rooms staffed by a procedure nurse for expeditious initiation of interventions within the unit itself. Care in all units is multidisciplinary, with physician and nursing teams supported by nutrition, respiratory therapy, bioethics, palliative care, cardiac pharmacy, and occupational and physical therapy specialists.</p>

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