Wilcox surgical center opens

Wilcox Memorial Hospital officials are celebrating the completion of the new Wilcox Surgical Center and Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Special Procedures Unit with an open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Members of the public are invited to gather in the lobby of the hospital during the open-house hours for tours to see the new surgical suites, learn about the types of surgeries that will be done, see the new, state-of-the-art technology, and learn why the Wilcox Surgical Center is said to be the most advanced in the state, hospital officials said in a press release.

Members of the public will also have the opportunity to chat with physicians and surgical staff members, and enjoy light refreshments and entertainment.

The new center is located near the hospital’s cafeteria, and surgery patients will be able to park near the new entrance on the makai side of the hospital.

Surgeons said they are looking forward to the opening of the new facility and letting the people of Kaua‘i know about the surgeries that are done on Kaua‘i.

With the opening of the new facilities, hospital doctors will be among the top surgical providers in Hawai‘i in the field of minimally invasive surgery, they said.

Dr. James McGreevy, general surgeon at Kauai Medical Clinic, who specializes in laparoscopic surgery, will be available at the open house to explain the capabilities of the new surgical center.

“The new equipment and technology makes the Wilcox Surgical Center a premiere site in Hawai‘i. We now have the facilities to advance our minimally invasive surgical services,” McGreevy said.

“We are fully equipped to perform such procedures as laparoscopic colon resections, prostotectomies, hernia repairs, hysterectomies and nephrectomies,” said McGreevy.

“Because of the technology and equipment we have today, surgeons can perform a big surgery through a tiny incision,” he added.

Rene Cottingham, RN, manager of surgery, worked closely with the architect to create an environment that was modern, safe and efficient, with the most up-do-date equipment and technology to accommodate surgeons, she said.

“The laparoscopic operating room, for example, is complete with the same state-of-the-art features that Dr. McGreevy, general surgeon, specializing in minimally invasive surgery, worked with at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center,” said Cottingham.

“The room has some outstanding features, such as the voice-activated equipment that allows the surgeon to control equipment in the room by just speaking to it,” she explained.

“There is an inline camera for open procedures that projects onto a 32-inch, flat-screen monitor, which can be used for teaching purposes, and which can also project to any facility using the same system, even to hospitals across the nation, for consults with other surgeons.”

The operating rooms were designed for efficiency of staff, with one point of control. X-rays are now digital, and can be projected onto the 32-inch flat screen for the surgeon to see during the surgery, she added.

There is also a new, depth-of-anesthesia monitor, providing the anesthesia provider with a second-by-second status on the exact consciousness level of the patient undergoing general anesthesia.

“We have seen many ‘firsts’ in our operating rooms, with the emergence of skillful surgeons on the island, and there will continue to be many more ‘firsts’ happening in our operating rooms because of the new design,” Cottingham said.

“The scope of surgeries done here at Wilcox is remarkable. For example, both Dr. Timothy Crane and Dr. Larry Sherrer, ophthalmologists, will be doing a procedure to improve vision using the new Alcon auto-focus ‘Restore’ lens.

“Dr. Susan Littler, OB/GYN, does a sling procedure that cures stress incontinence in women in a simple, 30-minute, outpatient procedure,” she said.

“Dr. Arnold Serota, general surgeon, specializes in vascular surgery, including peripheral angioplasty, (and) has recently inserted a retrievable vena cava umbrella filter for pulmonary-embolism prevention.

“Dr. Emilia Williams, general surgeon, specializes in multiple cancer surgeries, including sentinel node dissection for breast cancer, (and) Dr. William Bodenstab, urologist, helps patients with kidney stones with his laser stone surgery,” she noted.

“Dr. Chris Jordan, general surgeon, specializes in laparoscopic colorectal and gall-bladder surgery, Dr. Gregory Kassel, orthopedist, specializes in sports medicine, and Dr. (David) Rovinsky uses computer-assisted navigation for knee-replacement, making it possible to perform the surgery without cutting through muscle,” she said.

“There are many surgeons on Kaua‘i that use our surgical suites, and the list of the types of procedures is long and growing,” said Cottingham.

Joining McGreevy on Thursday will be the many of the nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical staff members and surgeons of the Wilcox Memorial Hospital medical staff, to help with the tours.

“This is a rare opportunity for our community to see the inside operations of the most advanced surgical suites in the state,” said Kathy Clark, acting chief executive officer of Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of our Kaua‘i residents that we wanted the public to see what their donations have made possible,” Clark said.

“The capital campaign raised $3 million of the $16-million project, and that shows tremendous support by the people of Kaua‘i for our community hospital.

“I hope people will accept our invitation to come and see the center, enjoy some light refreshments, entertainment, and meet and talk with the doctors, nurses, and surgical staff,” Clark said.

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