By ALAN J. ORTBALS
When the doors opened on the new HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Ill. on Nov. 4, surgeons moved into one of the most advanced surgical suites in the region.
“I am excited and the other surgeons that I’ve spoken with over the course of the past several months about the new facilities are all excited to be able to take advantage of the technology and the new features that we’ll have available for patient care,” said Dr. D. Scott Crouch, president of the medical staff at St. Elizabeth’s and a partner with Lincoln Surgical Associates in Belleville.
The da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which was purchased last year, was moved to the new hospital. The trademarked features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist, enabling surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.
“Robotics has made great strides in the field of general surgery over the last few years,” said Dr. Kevin Barnett, general surgeon at Lincoln Surgical. “The robot is a tool which allows us to perform more minimally invasive surgeries. At St. Elizabeth’s, we have access to the newest model with all the bells and whistles. As a surgeon, robotics offers many advantages over traditional laparoscopy. It gives us more control, allows us to perform more difficult surgeries and improves our visualization. More importantly, for our patients we can perform their surgeries through smaller incisions which allows for quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays and less pain. In my practice, I use robotics for hernias, gallbladders and colon and rectal surgeries.”
Another advanced system St. Elizabeth’s has invested in is Electromagnetic Navigation Bronschoscopy that uses Super D technology to detect and locate possible cancer lesions within the lung. The benefits to patients include less hospital time, avoidance of surgery, fewer complications and, most importantly, early detection and diagnosis.
Other new imaging technology will also be available at St. Elizabeth’s that reduces the radiation amounts that a patient receives by approximately 60 percent.
A new hybrid operating room was also installed at the new facility. A hybrid room is a special surgical room equipped with advanced imaging equipment that allows a physician to perform high-intensity procedures, such as neuro surgeries, vascular procedures and everything in between. According to the physicians, the hybrid room also allows a seamless switch from a less invasive procedure to an open operative procedure without having to move the patient to a different operating room.
A market differentiator for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s operating rooms is the implementation of an integrated computerized surgical environment. This technology allows physicians to remotely connect with colleagues who are not in the operating room for a second opinion or treatment planning.
“This integrated computerized surgical platform can be lifesaving,” Crouch said. “Imagine going into a routine laparoscopic procedure and then an unexpected mass is found. The in-house surgical team can telecommunicate in real time through the in-light camera to a specialist to address the issue at that moment, saving time and eliminating the need for additional surgeries. This technology also allows physicians to record the surgery and use those images to collaborate with other surgeons, as well as educate patients and families.”
“From a surgical perspective, the new hospital is equipped with the latest and most advanced equipment and instrumentation,” Crouch said. “All of our laparoscopic procedures will be done with the high-quality video technology and virtually every control will be at the surgeon’s hand. St. Elizabeth’s will be one of the most advanced operating rooms in the Midwest.”