BEND, Ore -

Starting Monday, patients arriving at St. Charles Bend with vascular disease, aortic aneurysms or traumatic vascular emergencies will have access to a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room equipped with the latest technology available to potentially save both life and limb.

The new operating room is a hybrid that can function as a traditional operating room or a catheter-based interventional lab, It was designed through a collaboration between St. Charles and Dr. Wayne Nelson, a vascular surgeon with Bend Memorial Clinic and the only fellowship-trained vascular and endovascular surgeon in Central Oregon.

"To be honest, this is probably the premiere hybrid room in the northwest and maybe even in the country right now," Nelson said during a tour of the facility Thursday evening..

A large monitor attached to the ceiling provides 3-D imaging that can rotate around the patient during a procedure - essentially completing a CT scan in real time.

In addition to the improved imaging features, the room offers patients and caregivers a nearly 75 percent reduction in radiation exposure from traditional catheter-based interventional labs.

The layout and size of the room makes it so procedures can be completed in a traditional open manner or a minimally invasion fashion using endovascular stents, wires and balloons.

"If a patient is in Prineville with an aneurysm, I can pull up the CT scan from the Prineville hospital and have a plan in place and ready to go when the patient arrives here in Bend," Nelson said. "The machine automatically lines up the scan with the bones of the patient on the table, resulting in quicker, safer care."

With the technology available in the new hybrid operating room, Nelson said patients have access to the same level of care available in large urban areas like San Francisco or Dallas.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for me, and it's humbling to know that they have that much confidence in me and my abilities," Nelson said.

"St. Charles made this significant investment in technology because we believe in providing the best possible care to our patients throughout the region," said Bob Gomes, CEO of St. Charles Bend and St. Charles Redmond. "We are excited that we can now offer state-of-the-art technology to improve treatment for patients with complex vascular disease and improve their long-term health outcomes."