Northwestern Memorial Hospital implements Karl Storz custom-built surgical suites for minimally invasive procedures

Culver City 09 April 2002Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc., specialised in diagnostic and operative endoscope technology, has installed two customised OR1 integrated operating rooms at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, the site of more than 25.000 operations every year and the most active surgery facility in the region. Surgeons will perform a wide range of advanced minimally invasive procedures in the facility, the first of its kind in Chicago and the upper Midwest.


The two OR1 surgical suites will be housed in Northwestern Memorial's new Feinburg Pavilion for inpatient care, which has 487 private rooms, including 78 intensive care beds. OR1 integrated operating rooms 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 operating room, including overhead mounting systems, operating room lights, operating room tables, endoscopic equipment, cameras, video systems, and documentation solutions.

Northwestern Memorial's new OR1 facility provides it with capabilities for performing a broad range of advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses, laparoscopic living donor nephrectomies, and laparoscopic radical prostatectomies. Minimally invasive surgery is growing in popularity because it results in faster recuperation, shorter hospital stays, and reduced costs.

Northwestern Memorial surgeons will also be able to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients worldwide thanks to a package of advanced capabilities in telemedicine and live telesurgery. "OR1 is uniquely equipped to meet Northwestern Memorial's needs in the emerging field of telemedicine", noted 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 operating rooms and electronic capture and archival of patient data."

These sophisticated capabilities were put to the test on February 22, when surgeons from all over Chicagoland participated in a live telesurgery broadcast from the new OR1 facility. While a patient underwent a laparoscopic inguinal hernia procedure in the OR1 operating room, participants observed the surgery live from the Department of Surgery Conference Room in the Galter Pavilion of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Participants were able to interact in real time with the surgical team, providing input and asking clinical questions.

"Northwestern Memorial is the first Chicago-area hospital to make this kind of commitment to minimally invasive surgery", stated Kenric M. Murayama, M.D., Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Programme and Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Gastro-intestinal and Endocrine Surgery, Northwestern Memorial. "Our newly acquired operating rooms include some of the most sophisticated endoscopic devices in a fully integrated operating environment. For residents of the upper Midwest, this means greater access to breakthrough treatments such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass."

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a new bariatric procedure for patients suffering from morbid obesity. Surgeons laparoscopically reduce stomach capacity to about the volume of a small egg. The surgeon then creates a small stomach pouch and attaches a section of the small intestine to the pouch. This operation helps people lose weight by restricting food intake.

A team of design engineers from Karl Storz worked closely with a select group of surgeons and executive management at Northwestern Memorial to create and install the new operating rooms. Karl Storz custom-builds each OR1 facility to the client's specifications with essentially unlimited possibilities for the configuration of the operating rooms. Northwestern Memorial selected OR1 in part due to its PC-based open architecture, which meets the future needs of surgeons with rapid expansions in system capabilities and by incorporating the latest advances in medical technology.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's pre-eminent academic medical centres and is particularly renowned for its programmes in cardio-vascular services, women's health, cancer, neurosciences, orthopaedics, transplantation, gastro-intestinal disease, psychiatry, and infectious disease. As a major referral centre, Northwestern Memorial offers patients the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, including the latest in digital medical imaging, laser technology, minimally invasive surgery, organ and stem cell transplantation, and biologic therapies. Members of the medical staff represent virtually every medical speciality.

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. More news is available in the VMW April 2002 article Computer Motion's robotic systems soon compatible with Karl Storz's integrated operating room.

Leslie Versweyveld

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