The $4 million facility with imaging equipment can handle non-surgical treatments, such as an angioplasty to unclog blocked arteries, and open heart bypass surgery in one setting.

Previously, patients had to be wheeled to different locations or wait for one procedure to be done first. This took up additional time and posed a higher risk for such patients.

Up to 100 of the heart centre's 6,000 - 9,000 patients who have heart surgery will benefit from the hybrid facility every year, said the centre's medical director Koh Tian Hai.

Some of these patients had to be turned away before, as their severe heart condition would have put them at risk in open heart surgery.

The robotic imaging facility also ensures clear and precise images of the heart, which will help in complex cases.

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