South Miami Hospital opens new Surgical Suites and Emergency Center

South Miami Hospital opens new Surgical Suites and Emergency Center

High-tech healthcare: South Miami Hospital’s expansion and renovation enhances advanced surgery capabilities.
Photo by Donna Victor

The new year started on a positive note at South Miami Hospital as its new Emergency Center and Surgical Suites opened for patient care earlier this month. Part of an $80 million expansion and renovation project that began in 2010, the two-story addition enhances the hospital’s ability to serve patients from the community and around the world.

“South Miami Hospital’s new Emergency Center and Surgical Suites represent a significant milestone in the hospital’s 52-year history,” said Lincoln S. Mendez, chief executive officer. “This investment in our community demonstrates Baptist Health’s commitment to providing patients and their families expert, compassionate care.”

Neurosurgeon Joseph Traina, M.D., longtime South Miami Hospital physician and member of the hospital’s Board of Directors, performed the first surgery in the new operating rooms – a lumbar spinal fusion – on Jan. 2. The following day, South Miami Hospital’s Chief of Surgery Jorge Rabaza, M.D., performed the second surgery in the new facility – a robot-assisted gallbladder removal.

The new Surgical Suites has 16 large operating rooms equipped with the latest equipment and technology to support advanced surgical procedures, including thousands of robot-assisted surgeries performed each year at The Center for Robotic Surgery at South Miami Hospital. A fifth robotic surgical system is among the technological advances added to the new Surgical Suites.

Robot-assisted surgery is revolutionizing the field of minimally invasive surgery. The Center’s robotic systems enable surgeons to virtually extend their eyes and hands into patients’ bodies, helping to make complex operations more precise and less traumatic. For patients this means smaller incisions and less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.

“More and more patients are asking for robot-assisted surgeries,” said Dr. Rabaza. “Our new facility will help us continue moving forward as one of the nation’s leading sites for advanced robotic surgery, research and education.”

The specially-trained and Board-certified surgeons at the Center for Robotic Surgery at SouthMiami Hospital perform gynecological, urological, colorectal, weight-loss and chest and throat surgeries using robotic technology. Several surgeons at the Center are considered pioneers in the robotic surgery industry. They have developed new ways to use the robot, and surgeons from around the world come to train with them. The Surgical Suites’ observation gallery facilitates physician and staff training.

The new 40,000 square-foot facility is four times larger than the hospital’s original surgical center. Ceiling-mounted surgical equipment in the spacious suites keeps the floors clear and gives the surgical staff more mobility during procedures. The robot’s surgical camera relays the surgeon’s precise movements to several flat screen monitors located around the room.

The high-tech facility’s scrub stations, control desk and physician and nurse work areas are all strategically situated with efficiency – and patient safety – in mind.

To complement the new Surgical Suites, construction of 36 new pre- and postprocedure rooms and a new Central Sterile Processing is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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