Surgical suites are procedure-specific

There are six new surgical suites at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, at least one large enough for a crowd, and several designed with specific procedures in mind:

  • The eye-surgery suite, where ophthalmologists such as Dr. Timothy Crane and Dr. Larry Sherrer will perform vision-improvement surgery using the new, Alcon, auto-focus, Restore lens;
  • A minimally-invasive-surgery suite, which features voice-activated technology, wide-screen monitors to send and receive images to other medical professionals during surgery, and laparoscopic technology that means some procedures that used to require hours and lots of cutting can be done with much less cutting in much less time;
  • A orthopedic-surgery suite, where doctors like Dr. David Rovinsky will use computer-assisted navigation devices for joint-replacement surgery, and read digital X-ray images projected on large, flat-screen monitors.

Kahu Nani Hill blessed the Wilcox Surgical Center and Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Special Procedures Unit, members of the band Vicious Stylz performed, and Pastor Doug Kozub, a hospital chaplain team member, blessed the food at the recent ceremonies, where members of the public were able to tour the center and suites and hear firsthand from surgeons the many reasons the new, high-tech suites are the envy of doctors across the state.

With the opening of the suites also came an announcement that new parking areas have been established for same-day surgery patients on the Wal-Mart side of the hospital.

The new center is near the hospital cafeteria.

Dr. James M. McGreevy, who specializes in laparoscopic surgery, had a captive audience in the largest of the suites on one of the tours, showing all of the different capabilities of the new surgical center.

Laparoscopic surgery is that minimally-invasive surgery accomplished with the aid of a laparoscope, or thin, lighted tube, which is inserted through the stomach or chest with a small incision.

It is used in colon, prostate, hernia, hysterectomy, and other surgeries.

The opening of the center and unit allows some talented surgeons on the island to practice their craft in state-of-the-art facilities, said Rene Cottingham, RN, manager of surgery.

“The scope of surgeries done here at Wilcox is remarkable,” she said in a press release.

On-island surgeons specialize in cancer, heart, gall-bladder, colorectal, knee-replacement, and other surgeries, she explained.

“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.

At the grand opening, Kathy Clark, RN, acting chief executive officer of Wilcox Memorial Hospital, greeted over 100 people in attendance who braved the wet weather to attend.

Earlier, she said that $3 million for the $16-million project was raised locally, “and that shows tremendous support by the people of Kaua’i for our community hospital.”

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