St. Francis Medical Center Announces Opening of State-of-the-Art Hybrid Operating Room


Advanced equipment and imaging capabilities allow for minimally invasive and traditional open surgical procedures to be performed in same surgical suite

Monroe, LA - St. Francis Medical Center is proud to announce the opening of its newly constructed hybrid operating room (OR). The hybrid OR, which is about twice as large as traditional ORs, features the most innovative technology and imaging capabilities available in Northeast Louisiana.

The construction of this hybrid OR suite, as well as a new traditional surgical suite, represents an investment of over $3 million dollars and is part of St. Francis Forward, an $80 million, four-year capital campaign intended to revitalize St. Francis Medical Center and its surrounding community.

The decision to invest in a hybrid OR as part of the hospital’s suite of cardiovascular services was based on improving patient outcomes and the quality of care. Patients benefit from shorter wait times, increased safety measures, and advanced imaging capabilities. When necessary, surgeons can rapidly switch between minor and complex cases, completing multiple surgeries on a single patient with multiple surgeons in the same procedure and room.

“After two years of planning and construction, we are excited to open this advanced operating suite that will improve patient care and outcomes,” said Kristin Wolkart, president of St. Francis Medical Center. “Made possible by the collaboration of physicians and our surgical staff, this new operating room is just one example of our commitment to providing innovative technology for our patients, as well as continued investment in our community.”

While traditional ORs are typically smaller and outfitted for one specific procedure, hybrid ORs are specially designed and equipped to make surgeries safer and easier for patients and the surgical team.

Advantages of a hybrid OR include:

  • Having advanced imaging equipment available during surgery allows for faster, more precise placement of surgical tools and implants.
  • Surgeries generally proceed more quickly because everything the surgeon needs is right in the room. There’s no need to move to another location for additional procedures or imaging.
  • The newest technologies require less radiation and less contrast material — the dye that is needed to give doctors a better view of tissues. This means greater safety for patients.
  • Results for patients may be enhanced due to the shorter surgical times, smaller incisions needed for minimally invasive procedures and the greater imaging accuracy.
  • If surgeons determine that other procedures, including traditional open surgery, are needed for an individual patient, the open surgery can be done safely and immediately in the same room.

 St. Francis Medical Center’s new hybrid OR will be predominantly used for cardiac and vascular procedures including these minimally invasive procedures:

  • Percutaneous (through the skin) valve replacements or repairs such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) that are done instead of open heart surgery
  • Cardiac catheterization and coronary interventions for high-risk patients
  • Endovascular procedures (using a catheter inserted through the skin to diagnose and treat vascular disease), such as:
    • Endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms in the abdomen or chest (EVAR, TEVAR)
    • Endovascular repair of aortic dissections
    • Stent graft implantations
    • Endovascular treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) with angioplasty and stenting
    • Embolization of visceral artery aneurysms and vascular malformations
    • Hybrid (part open and part endovascular) intervention to treat complex vascular problems

 The hybrid OR staff includes a multidisciplinary team of highly trained and experienced specialists, including surgeons, interventionalists, nurses, anesthesiologists and technologists.

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit healthcare ministry based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,500 employees committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With an 800-bed Regional Medical Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Gonzales, Louisiana, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 500+ provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. Our Lady of the Lake is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, as well as St. Francis Pediatrics in Monroe and Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's in Lafayette. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. The health system’s unified physician organization is comprised of 900 adult and pediatric primary care physicians and specialists. The system’s nine hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Heart Hospital, and Women's & Children's in Lafayette, Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa, and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. For more information, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 316-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics, and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.