Up We Go: New Operating Rooms to Provide State-of-the-Art Technologies

There was a time when surgeons had to open the chest to treat a potentially fatal blood clot that lodged itself in the lungs.

No longer.  In a minimally-invasive procedure, surgeons now can run a catheter through the groin and apply clot-busting drugs.

In fact, there are a multitude of new, less-invasive high-tech remedies that rely on robotics and high-definition imaging to save patients lives.

“Technological advances are amazing and the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is going to allow us to do even more of that than we do today,” said Dr. Matthew Atlas, an anesthesiologist who practices at TMC.

The second floor of the tower, set to open in spring 2013, will include 14 state-of-the-art operating rooms, while the third floor will include 10 state-of-the-art orthopaedic operating rooms.

The operating rooms will be wired to allow doctors to pull up information from a patient’s chart or history instantly, while new capabilities will allow surgeons to view 3D images, creating a virtual map of a patient’s heart, for example.

The technology also allows for teleconferencing, allowing physicians to consult virtually with other clinicians or to demonstrate a technique for medical students.

Although TMC currently has one operating room with hybrid equipment that allows for a variety of specialized procedures, the new tower will have two, allowing for expanded opportunities for doctors to use the room for the latest treatments.

“Current graduates are all trained in these latest types of procedures and they want to come to a place that understands the need to keep up with advances as they become available,” Atlas said, adding the new tower will help with recruitment and retention.

Aside from the focus on technology, the new design also allows for greater efficiency and mobility.

At an average size of more than 620 square feet, the new operating rooms will be much larger than the existing rooms at TMC, allowing for greater freedom of movement for staff. Cables will be wired through the ceiling, avoiding clutter on the floor.

A new barcoding system will ensure all of the equipment necessary for a procedure is at the ready, but if a new item is needed, surgery team members won’t have to wait to retrieve sterilized equipment. Just outside the door of each of the operating rooms, in what’s known as the sterile core, a full range of equipment and supplies are at the ready.

This new facility is being designed with flexibility for the future, Atlas said. “If you don’t stay up with technology and participate in it, you won’t be ready for what follows. And to fulfill our mission as a community hospital, we are committed to delivering the best care to our patients.”

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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