A hospital operating room is not the usual place you'd associate with mood lighting and ambient sound.
"It's like a resort," Ellen Chitjian said of Hoag Hospital's new Allan and Sara Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Suite, which is equipped with two 55-inch flat-screen monitors and a sound system more reminiscent of something a patient would see over a massage bed, not an operating table.
"It's very calming, very soothing," said Chitjian, who underwent a coronary catheterization at Hoag five years ago. "If I compare the two rooms, it was very bright, light, noisy; this is very different. This is very calming and I think that helps out a patient a lot when you're about to undergo a procedure. You're already nervous, so this could make a big difference."
The new cath suite is designed to increase a patient's comfort and the doctor's efficiency during EP catheterizations — minimally invasive procedures where long wires (electrode catheters) are used to examine and treat the heart. Patients are normally kept awake, with only mild sedatives, during the procedure.