Karl Storz delivers advanced surgical suites to new Texas Heart Institute's telemedicine centre

Culver City 13 November 2001Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc., a specialist provider of diagnostic and operative endoscope technology, has installed two customised OR1 surgical suites at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, home of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. The OR1 surgical suites will be housed in the Denton A. Cooley Building, a new 312.000 square-foot facility dedicated to state-of-the-art approaches to treating cardiovascular disease, including gene therapy, vascular cell biology, heart transplantation, heart assist devices, and total artificial hearts.


OR1 surgical suites provide surgeons and O.R. staff with a fully integrated operating room environment. Using sophisticated electronic guidance systems, OR1 provides centralised control of every component of the surgical suite, including overhead mounting systems, surgical lights, O.R. tables, endoscopic equipment, cameras, video systems, and documentation solutions.

Surgeons at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital will use the new OR1 facilities to perform the latest advances and techniques in cardiovascular surgery. Working with Da Vinci robotic systems from Intuitive Surgical of Mountain View, California, surgeons will investigate breakthrough procedures such as fully thoracoscopic, robotically-assisted coronary surgical procedures. These minimally invasive alternatives to open cardiovascular surgery are growing in popularity because they result in faster recuperation, shorter hospital stays and reduced costs.

"St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is the first hospital in the Houston area to offer a fully integrated operating room environment", stated Dr. Denton A. Cooley, president and surgeon-in-chief of the Texas Heart Institute and chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. "Our OR1 facility will bring novel technologies and treatments to patients with cardiovascular disease, helping them to live longer, more satisfying lives."

The new Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, the Denton A. Cooley Building, includes a telemedicine centre, enabling new discoveries and knowledge to be shared worldwide and for Texas Heart Institute physicians to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients worldwide. "OR1 is uniquely equipped to meet the needs of the new telemedicine centre", stated Marcus Filipovich, OR1 Director, Karl Storz.

"OR1 connects a wider range of people and resources both inside and outside the O.R. with sophisticated video tele-conferencing, interlinking O.R.'s and electronic capture and archival of patient data", added Mr. Filipovich. Planning is already underway for dedication activities associated with the much-anticipated opening of the new building in January, 2002. A team of design engineers from Karl Storz is working closely with a select group of surgeons and executive management at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital to create and install the new surgical suites.

"One of the major reasons we selected Karl Storz and OR1 for this important project is that it offers a turnkey solution to our integrated O.R. needs", stated Darlena Stevens, vice president of peri-operative services at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. "We provided the specifications and some pretty tight deadlines. Now, the OR1 team is making our facility a reality."

Karl Storz custom builds each OR1 facility to the client's specifications with essentially unlimited possibilities for the configuration of the surgical suite. Since OR1 uses PC-based architecture, it is easy to upgrade as the system expands.

Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc. is an affiliate of Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG, an international expert for more than 50 years in diagnostic and operative technology, encompassing all endoscopic specialities. Based in Tuttlingen, Germany, Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned company that designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all its products with an emphasis on visionary design, precision craftsmanship, and clinical effectiveness.

The cardiovascular surgeon Denton A. Cooley, M.D., founded the Texas Heart Institute in 1962 for the study and treatment of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Together with the Institute's clinical partner, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, it has been ranked among the United States' top ten heart centres in an annual survey published by U.S. News & World Report for the past eleven years.

Leslie Versweyveld

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