CHLA Strives for Hybrid Surgery Suite

Fundraising efforts are currently underway for a new hybrid surgery suite that will revolutionize pediatric cardiac care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. A recent dinner hosted by Stephen and Chantal Bennett of San Marino honored Dr. Vincent Starnes, co-director of CHLA’s Heart Institute, and raised $50,000. The project now needs an additional $1.7 million in funding to meet its $5-million projected budget.
“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles already has one of the best heart institutes in the world,” said Bennett. “Now Dr. Starnes is going to have the opportunity to take it to the next level.”
Hybrid surgery technology brings advanced imaging, cardiac surgery and cardiac catheterization techniques together in the same operating room, allowing teams of cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists and radiologists to work as one unit to provide the most efficient and minimally invasive care possible. This collaborative method means that multiple issues can be treated during one surgery, limiting the need for residual procedures and reducing risks and recovery times for patients.
While the practice has become the standard for many adult cardiac procedures, its potential to change the lives of generations of children born with congenital heart defects has only recently been tapped in the past five years. When the hybrid surgery suite at CHLA’s Heart Institute is completed, it will be one of the first of its kind in Southern California, further establishing the Institute’s position as the third-ranked pediatric cardiology program in the nation.
“At Children’s Hospital in the cardiovascular center, we’re committed to being on the leading edge of technology so that we can bring to Southern California and the western United States the absolute best heart care for any child,” said Starnes. “We get to that level because we try as best we can to anticipate the next technology to embrace, the next research we pursue to improve that care. We give hope and we give a future to a lot of kids that had none 20 years ago.”
Starnes, himself, has been a pioneer for most of his career. The Stanford-bred cardiothoracic surgeon has performed more than 12,000 life-saving surgeries on children and infants, including a heart and lung transplant on a 4-month-old baby and the first live-donor lobar and double-lobar lung transplants in the field. He brought his talent to CHLA in 1992 and has committed the past 23 years to developing the Heart Institute into one of the largest pediatric cardiac programs in the country. During that time, the number of cardiovascular procedures performed each year at CHLA has risen from 100 to nearly 1,700.
For more information on the hybrid suite, visit CHLA.org/HybridSurgery. To learn more and support Dr. Starnes and the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, contact CHLA Foundation’s Michael Sampiano at (323) 804-5181 or msampiano@chla.usc.edu.

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