February 13, 2004

Day surgery moves to Medical Center East

Featured Image

Stacie Hendrick, LPN, left, and Tenisha Stewart, LPN, examine the new MCE robotics room, which contains the Da Vinci robotic system. Photo by Dana Johnson

Day surgery moves to Medical Center East

The third floor operating room suite in Medical Center East was vacated Sunday when pediatric surgical procedures moved a block south to the newly opened Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital building.

In early March, most of Vanderbilt’s adult minimally invasive surgical procedures will be moved to the suite in Medical Center East. Currently most of these procedures are performed in the OR suite on the third floor of the Vanderbilt Clinic and in the main OR on the third floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Assistant Hospital Director Nancye R. Feistritzer said minimally invasive surgery is steadily increasing at Vanderbilt, chiefly in areas of general, urologic and thoracic surgery. The technique involves slimline manual or robotic instrument extensions and scopes that enter the patient through relatively small incisions. The Da Vinci robotic surgical system will be relocated from the main OR to Medical Center East.

The renovated operating rooms in Medical Center East will be state of the art, Feistritzer said. Each room will have a central control panel for lights, cameras and power. The video will be digital. There will be expanded telemedicine capabilities, allowing more surgeons to teleconference with students and faculty in remote locations. Telestration, familiar to football fans from its use by commentators to diagram televised action on the field, will be available from all rooms.

Feistritzer said the volume of surgical cases at Vanderbilt is limited more by bed capacity than by operating room capacity.

Anticipating the Children’s Hospital move and more room in the hospital for adult surgical patients, the OR has budgeted to perform an additional 500 adult cases in the first half of 2004. The patient rooms vacated by Children’s Hospital will reopen in stages, starting in a few months with half the beds on the sixth floor. The fifth floor’s more complete renovation will take a year.

Feistritzer said Operative Services recently completed a hiring push in which 40 vacant staff positions were filled. She said they’ll start with six operating rooms in Medical Center East, producing an immediate net gain of two adult operating rooms. The OR suite in the clinic may reopen as early as this summer.