Laparoscopic Surgical Suites Q & A

Question & Answer
Laparoscopic Surgical Suite, YRH
March 10, 2011

What is a Laparoscopic Surgical Suite?
It is a surgical operating room which is designed and outfitted with dedicated laparoscopic surgical equipment. It includes specially designed booms and structures to safely contain the laparoscopic equipment for easy and safe access.

What is laparoscopic surgery (also called Minimally Invasive Surgery)?
Small incisions are made in the body through which the surgeon inserts surgical instruments and a scope. The scope transmits images to a television monitor and the surgeon performs the surgery inside the body while watching the monitor.

Surgeries performed via an abdominal incision that allows the surgeon visible access to the abdominal cavity are called open surgeries.

The majority of all surgeries performed at Yarmouth Regional Hospital are through laparoscopy.

Why are laparoscopic surgeries better than open surgeries?
Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive so patients recover faster and many post-surgical complications are eliminated.

Open surgeries have a high rate of complications such as incisional hernias, which often requires another surgery to repair; laparoscopic surgery doesn’t require a large incision through muscle and other tissue, so the occurrence of complications is greatly diminished and recovery time is minimized.

How are laparoscopic surgeries done now without a laparoscopic surgical suite?Equipment is loaded on carts and wheeled into the operating room where the surgery will take place.    Significant floor space is taken up with carts and equipment and electrical lines and wires lay on the floor creating a potential safety issue.  (See figure 1)

Room set-up takes more time and also presents hazards for surgeons and nursing staff.

Why should we invest in a laparoscopic surgical suite?
Laparoscopic techniques means better patient outcomes such as enhanced patient safety, less pain, shorter recovery periods and reduced system-wide costs with shorter hospital stays.

A laparoscopic suite supports optimal workflow to support new surgical techniques, maintain a sterile environment and provide flexibility to accommodate new technology over longer periods of time.

A laparoscopic suite is also expected to aid physician recruitment and retention.  An up-to-date facility that supports their desire to offer new techniques is always of benefit.

Will a laparoscopic surgical suite free up operating room time?
The increased efficiency of the suite provides decreased pre-anesthesia and nursing set-up and change-over time because all equipment is already in place.

Start time and change-over time indicators are an important measure of surgical efficiencies within hospitals and can be used to help improve performance.  In order to maximize the use of valuable operating room time, having the equipment already in place at the start of the day and during change-over time ensures the first case of the day starts on time, minimizing delays and cancellations while increasing the number of cases that can be done daily.  (See figure 2)

How much does a laparoscopic suite cost?
Two operating rooms will be converted into suites at a cost of approximately $991,333.  (YRH currently has three general anesthetic rooms and two local anesthetic rooms.)

The Department of Health and Wellness has contributed $743,500 and requests that the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation fundraise the remaining 25% or $247,833.

op-room-1

op-room-2

Figure 1: Current operating room, note equipment carts and cramped quarters.

Figure 2: Laparoscopic suite with ceiling hung equipment and monitors. Equipment booms allow easy maneuver and adjustments