Renovated pediatric operating rooms enhance state-of-the-art surgical careAug. 8, 2023, 9:55 AM
by Christina Echegaray
Every detail of operating rooms 12 and 13 at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was carefully planned to match the precision of the seasoned surgeons that use them and to give children the best in pediatric health care.
Augmented lighting on easy-to-move booms, enhanced imaging that automatically loads into patients’ medical records, and cameras with live feeds to a control room are just a few examples of the newly renovated operating rooms at Monroe Carell.
OR 12, used for cardiac surgery, and OR 13, a multiuse room primarily used for robotic surgical cases, are the first two renovated operating rooms to come online for the first phase of renovations to overhaul 10 of the hospital’s 18 ORs. This is the first major renovation of the ORs since Monroe Carell opened in 2004.
Douglass Clayton, MD, associate professor of Urology and a pediatric urologic surgeon at Monroe Carell, uses the robotic operating room for complex urinary tract reconstruction cases. The cutting-edge robotic device is designed for complex cases with a minimally invasive approach using smaller incisions.
“With the new renovations we now have a state-of-the-art operating room to match our existing robotic technology. The robotic platform now performs at its fullest potential. For instance, we can now easily display critical radiographs onto high definition 4K screens allowing not only in-room teaching of trainees but also collaboration with surgeons at any location,” said Clayton, medical director of the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Clinic. “The way the new room technology meshes with the robotic platform allows for simultaneous use of different modalities like robotic and endoscopic surgery without the need for extra equipment.”
Monroe Carell also has three state-of-the-art ORs and GI procedure rooms at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt Surgery and Clinics Murfreesboro location, which offers pediatric patients the same comprehensive, compassionate care close to home. The Murfreesboro facility opened in December 2019.
Every year, Monroe Carell surgical teams perform surgery on more than 18,000 children who come from Tennessee as well as across the Southeast and the nation. Monroe Carell is also a level one trauma center and is consistently one of the top four largest pediatric heart transplant programs in the country.
“The OR renovations come at a perfect time with our increased pediatric heart transplants and ventricular assist device implantations in the last few years. The state-of-the-art technology allows us to give a more comprehensive care experience centered around delivering excellent care to each complex congenital heart disease patient with improved communication and collaboration,” said Nhue Do, MD, MBA, surgical director of the pediatric heart transplant and ventricular assist device program at Monroe Carell. “The updated ORs give us the ability to offer innovative treatments to patients that otherwise might not be alive today.”
On any given day, about 250 employees interact with and care for children in the surgery center, including everyone from check-in, to the ORs, to the recovery areas.
Continued renovations in the remaining ORs will provide significant technologic improvements and increase efficiency and safety measures. Renovations are underway in ORs 7 and 8 and will be complete around mid-August. Then work will begin on ORs 1 and 2, marking the halfway point of phase one of the renovation project, said Maria Sullivan, MSN, RN, MMHC, CNOR, manager of the Pediatric Operating Rooms at Monroe Carell.
Sullivan led the charge on renovations, receiving feedback and ideas from different disciplines — perfusionists, surgeons, surgical technologists, nurses, anesthesia team members, environmental services, sterile processing and more.
“We are very excited as the upgrades have allowed us to be more flexible in the utilization of all operating rooms with the addition of higher amp plugs that are needed for lasers, and the newest lighting. Video and endoscopic technology helps all team members have the clearest views for any procedure performed,” she said.