We are constantly improving surgical techniques through research, investigation and innovation.
Since The Baird Institute’s inception in 2001 we have funded clinical trials, PhD students, surgeon scientists, laboratory work, surgical training, research into surgical outcomes and digital imaging research.
Through this research, and the partnerships we have forged, The Baird Institute is now a recognised and established international voice in the field of cardiothoracic surgical research.
Ultimately, The Baird Institute facilitates connection.
It is a stellar example of how a small cohort of surgeons working in conjunction with undergraduate and postgraduate Faculties of Medicine, can work to improve surgical techniques, materials and evidence-based care, to enhance the quality of patients’ lives.
We are currently furthering the fields of heart and lung surgery by:
- Developing innovative techniques for better heart valve surgery
- Conducting advanced research into the use of robotic technologies in order to speed up diagnosis and improve future treatment possibilities
- Supporting the use of the Kuka – a new robotic arm to be used in surgery
- Establishing three robotic databases – Robolung database, Robocab database and Robomitral database – to collect details regarding robotic surgery. Data is collected on the procedure itself as well as patient quality of life after surgery.
- Supporting the introduction of robotic surgery into the public hospital system
- Working with others to create innovative techniques for imaging blood flow, to determine the cause of Aortic Aneurysm Disease.
- Conducting innovative research into how the heart/lung machine affects organ function during open-heart surgery and how to make it more effective and safer
- Collecting data and analysing both illness patterns and the effectiveness of our work
It is an exciting time for The Baird Institute and we invite you to be a part of our ambitious future.
After laying all the right foundations, we’re now at the point where we can start delving into the possibilities that robotics, nanorobotics and digital imaging can create for research and surgical practice; particularly in the areas of cardiac disease, biological studies and genetic disease.
We believe that these directions in investigation will ensure that The Baird Institute remains an international leader in translational research, the translation of evidence into public health practice and policy; thus enabling cutting edge research to rapidly result in improved cardiothoracic surgical practice.
The Baird Institute does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of the public and those who have benefited from its work.
Your support will make these world-leading investigations possible.
The Hybrid Theatre - On the edge of tomorrow
The cardiothoracic surgeon of the future is a hybrid of surgeon and research scientist while the operating theatre of the future is a hybrid theatre, a facility where high level imaging, robotics and traditional surgical procedures are combined to produce the best outcomes. The equipment at the Hybrid Theatre, in the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) at the University of Sydney, where much of our research takes place, is the best in the world. It is a facility where researchers, clinicians and industry partners come together to rapidly translate evidence into state-of-the-art clinical practice.
Some of the best researchers in the world reside in Australia and, without a doubt, this is the best place for them to imagine, contemplate and investigate the possibilities of the future. At the CPC, the only limit to what they can achieve is their imagination.
Our Innovative Surgical Solutions Program
Discovering The Possibilities Of Future Surgery
MRI imaging combined with robotics, is the basis for future surgery. It enables surgeons to map out surgeries, to predict, reconstruct and teach surgery like never before. Imaging takes surgeons and surgical students on a virtual adventure through the patient’s body enabling them to regard and investigate it from various aspects and angles prior to the operation.
The Baird Institute is working with Vantari VR to build a virtual reality tool for surgical planning. The focus is on improving efficiency and outcomes for patients and is the first of its kind globally to be built for use in aortic surgery. The potential of this technology is game-changing to the surgical landscape. Vantari VR is developing core technology which takes CT & MRI scan data and converts it into 3D models in the virtual reality (VR) environment, ie. it will be made visible through 3D googles.
Vantari’s aim is to build a system which will not only scan and assess acutely ill patients within minutes on the operating table, but also allow surgeons to take a virtual reality tour inside the patients’ bodies in real time; thus enabling them to plan the surgery required with much greater speed and accuracy. Clinical trials are already showing that VR can reduce surgical planning time by up to 40% and increase surgical accuracy by 10%.
“The work we are doing with Professor Bannon is for surgical planning of aortic dissection surgery,” said Dr Vijay Paul, Co Founder of Vantari VR.
“We take preoperative aortic dissection patients’ scan data which is then manipulated within our software. The software provides the 3D render but also has powerful algorithms, tools, user interface and overlay functions which allows the surgeon to plan the surgery in a way that has never before been done before.”
The software will be used in the pre-op setting but ultimately the vision is for implementation within the Hybrid Theatre setting with the MRI machines. The intra-operative (during the operation itself) imaging done on the MRI machines will also be run through Vantari’s VR software and converted into 3D renders so that a surgeon can then adapt the plan that was done up prior to surgery.
“Patients will have preoperative scans and a surgical plan within our software prior to surgery, but in the Hybrid Theatre they will be able to have on-the-table imaging mid-surgery and review within our software again. This will happen down the line as data is gathered and we go through the regulatory pathway” said Dr Paul.
Where does our focus on innovation come from?
The namesake of The Baird Institute, the late Professor Douglas Baird AM (1940- 1995), was a gifted cardiothoracic surgeon and Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Professor Baird believed firmly that surgical outcomes needed to be continually measured and improved.
Professor Baird was dedicated not just to improving patients’ survival rates and lives post-surgery; but to providing much needed support for surgeons and education for students.
He was instrumental in creating the first national cardiac surgical database, with the National Heart Foundation, so that lessons from past surgeries can now be implemented into current and future technologies. Though this may seem logical, it had not previously been done at the time.
Professor Baird also pioneered the formerly rare combination of research and surgery; thus bridging the gap between academic innovation and applied cardiothoracic surgical techniques.
With your help The Baird Institute can continue Professor Douglas Baird’s life-saving work and research, driving medical breakthroughs in heart and lung surgery.
To achieve our goals, push the boundaries of today and realise the possibilities for future surgery, The Baird Institute needs to guarantee funding for our team.