Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Hybrid Operating Room

Lehigh Valley Health Network has completed the first "hybrid operating room" in the Lehigh Valley and one of the largest and most advanced in the country.

What is a "hybrid operating room?"  As you know, a "hybrid" is a thing that is made by combining two different elements.  A hybrid operating room combines the radiographic (x-ray) equipment of a cardiac catheterization laboratory with the size, equipment, sterility, and safety of an operating room.  This allows our team of interventional cardiologists and heart surgeons to perform the new trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.

Below are pictures of our new hybrid operating room:

The Hybrid Operating Room at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Cedar Crest Campus

View from the Computer Control Room

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Clearly the most exciting new development in heart surgery and cardiology is the FDA approval of Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).  I discuss this procedure on my web site.  Just follow the links to The Heart > Heart Valve > Valve Surgery: Approaches > Percutaneous.  Or hit the following link:

In order to perform this procedure, we have build a brand new state-of-the-art operating room, known as a "hybrid operating room."  The word hybrid signifies that it combines the radiographic and computer equipment of a cardiac catheterization lab with the size, equipment, sterility, and safety of an operating room.  Recently WFMZ Channel 69 did a nice story about our new hybrid operating room and our launch of our TAVR program:

For now, the TAVR procedure is going to be limited to patients who are so high risk for aortic valve surgery that they are actually deemed "inoperable" by the heart surgeons.  We have a TAVR team that is lead by Ronnie Moore, PhD, APN-BC, our Valve Center Nurse Coordinator.  Our team members include my surgical partner, Gary Szydlowski; our Cath Lab Director, Patrick Kleaveland, MD; and two additional Interventional Cardiologists, David Cox, MD, from the Lehigh Valley Heart Specialists; and, William Combs, MD, from The Heart Care Group.

We traveled to Dallas, Texas and visited Dr. Michael Mack's program at the Medical City Dallas Hospital.  Here's picture of our team in Dallas:

(From Left to Right: Dr. Cox, Dr. Szydlowski, Dr. Combs, Mrs. Moore, Dr. Singer (me), and Dr. Kleaveland)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Welcome to heartlungdoc blog!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you like our newly updated website.  Many thanks to my web master and friend, Valerie Schwader, who has put in countless hours to make heartlungdoc easier to navigate and provide you with more up to date and interesting information.  If you or your company would like to build a web site, you should definiately contact Valerie (

While our our main web site ( has a lot of great information on heart and lung surgery, we're hoping with our blog to provide you with the latest health news and hot topics.  We'll look at current events both in medical journals but also in the news.  Any goes!  We'll discuss many controversial topics as well and hopefully give you a behind the scenes view on issues of the day, such as health care reform, health law, marketing, and new technologies.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.  Please send me questions and topics that you would like me to discuss.