But open surgery may be too risky for certain patients, and may be particularly problematic for patients who have coronary artery disease, or who had prior heart surgery and need re-operation. In the past, if patients were unable to withstand open bypass surgery, they simply had to endure their worsening symptoms as their hearts grew weaker. Now, the advent of hybrid surgeries – which combine catheter-based procedures with minimally invasive surgical techniques – are providing a broader and better range of treatment options.
Hybrid surgery is gaining traction throughout the nation, but at this time remains available only in select institutions because of the need for specialized operating rooms and multidisciplinary expertise. Hybrid procedures require close collaboration between interventionalists and surgeons, a type of cooperation not usually found in institutions with traditional departmental divisions.