Prince of Wales Hospital heart patients who once had to be moved from one floor to another for different operations can now have them done all in one place.
This follows Chinese University's introduction of a hybrid operating theatre at the Sha Tin hospital that it says will reduce the risks of moving patients around.
"In the past, the process of transporting the patients took time and created risks," Professor Simon Yu Chun-ho, from the university's department of imaging and interventional radiology, said. "During the transportation, there might be bleeding and infections."
Yu said the hybrid operating theatre created a platform for doctors of different specialities to work together on a patient. It also enabled some high-risk and complex operations that were previously impossible.
Patients who needed to be moved in the past included those who required both a heart bypass and a stent insertion in the aorta - the main heart artery.
Since the hybrid operating theatre came into use last year, the team has assessed about 70 complex patient cases, of which 16 underwent a hybrid operation - bypass and stent insertion.
Made possible by a HK$20 million anonymous donation, it brings Prince of Wales in line with Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, which introduced similar hybrid operating theatres in 2011.
The proportion of hybrid operations out of all stent insertion cases performed at Prince of Wales rose to 55 per cent for the last year from 38 per cent for all cases since 2001.
The number of public hospital patients suffering from aortic wall dilation or tearing, who may require the hybrid operation, has also gone up from about 1,000 cases a year a decade ago to about 1,400 a year recently.
The condition usually comes as a result of high blood pressure, and there has been an increasing trend of young patients suffering from the problem, said Dr Randolph Wong Hung-leung, honorary clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery.
The hybrid operating theatre has both a bacteria-free environment and an advanced X-ray imaging machine required for stent insertion.
Yu expects the hybrid model to be applied in other kinds of complex operations.