Packard Children’s Opens West Coast’s Most Advanced Pediatric Surgery Center

January 7, 2009

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The surgical lights are on, the
operating-room cameras rolling. Action is under way in the West Coast’s most
advanced pediatric surgery center, at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090107/AQW023)

The seven new operating rooms, which opened in December, provide the
latest in imaging and communication technologies, allowing surgeons to operate
with unprecedented precision, speed and efficiency. Every detail of the newly
renovated 35,000-square-foot space, from the admitting desk to the route out
of the recovery room, sets new standards in pediatric surgical care. Before,
pediatric surgeries for patients at Packard Children’s were done in Stanford
adult hospital.

“There is no other children’s hospital on the West Coast in which all the
operating rooms are so state-of-the-art,” said Craig Albanese, MD, the
division chief of pediatric general surgery at Packard Children’s. “It’s an
extraordinary facility which will help us prolong and save the lives of the
most seriously ill and injured children. We’ll be able to do procedures we
can’t even imagine yet.”

The Ford Family Surgery Center can accommodate every operation from hernia
repair to heart transplantation and is wired to be fully interactive. Many
machines are voice-activated, freeing doctors’ and nurses’ hands for key
tasks. Each room has high-definition monitors which display patients’ vital
signs, medical records, scans and x-ray images directly at the bedside,
promoting safer care. Surgical lights contain cameras that can broadcast to
other hospital departments, allowing surgeons to videoconference with
pathologists and radiologists without leaving the patient. Surgeons will also
be able to share expert opinions with colleagues in distant locations as they

And the new rooms contain cutting-edge tools for each surgical specialty.
For instance, the “BrainLAB” image guidance system in the neurosurgery OR
integrates images from several types of pre-op brain scans into one super-
image of the patient’s brain. The integrated three-dimensional image guides
surgery with a GPS-like system that tracks each surgical tool in real time and
displays its location in the brain-image map.

It’s hard to overstate the advance this represents for young patients who
need brain or spinal surgery. “Patients live and die by their scan images,”
said Michael Edwards, MD, the chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Packard.

For instance, if a brain tumor is located near a region of gray matter
that controls movement, Edwards can pre-plan the operation and then watch his
surgical tools move through images of the patient’s motor cortex, obtained in
a pre-surgical functional MRI scan and fiber tract map, to ensure he’s not
cutting a brain region that would cripple the patient. Information from other
types of scans helps him see exactly where the edges of the tumor lie as he

“We will be able to perform more complex, higher-risk surgeries with
greater safety,” Edwards said.

And, in every operating room, surgical teams now have more room to move.
The new ORs average 650 square feet, 150-200 feet larger than the rooms at
Stanford Hospital. Most equipment is mounted on moveable ceiling booms, which
means teams can configure the rooms ergonomically for any operation.

Other new designs lessen the stress of what one family called “the
surgical maze.” Patients can now bypass Packard’s general admitting and go
straight to a surgery-specific admitting desk. They travel only a few steps
for anesthesia prep, and then move to a waiting area with toys and child-sized
furniture, where Child Life specialists use play therapy to prepare children
for their surgery experience.

“It’s a very kid-friendly environment,” said Albanese, “and doesn’t seem
like a traditional hospital or OR.”

Then patients move to a pre-op holding area, where each bed has a TV and
space for families wait. Each child is assigned a confidential tracking number
during surgery, and parents can check display screens in the waiting area to
see where their child is in the surgical process. Soon after surgery, parents
join their kids in the 12-bed recovery room. The suites are designed to make
the experience of surgery as anxiety-free as possible.

In short, the new facility delivers improvements in every aspect of
patient care.

“Innovation begets innovation,” said Albanese. “We can think more broadly,
generate new ideas, and figure out how to make things better for our patients.
We’re all very excited.”

The Ford Family Surgery Center was built with a lead gift from the Thomas
W. Ford Family and gifts from HEDCO Foundation, Morgan Family Foundation, The
David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Schow Foundation and The Valley

Take a video tour of the new Ford Family Surgery Center at

About Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Ranked as one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World
Report, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is a 272-bed hospital
devoted to the care of children and expectant mothers. Providing pediatric and
obstetric medical and surgical services and associated with the Stanford
School of Medicine, Packard Children’s offers patients locally,
regionally and nationally the full range of health care programs and services,
from preventive and routine care to the diagnosis and treatment of serious
illness and injury. For more information, visit http://www.lpch.org.

     Robert Dicks
     (650) 497-8364

     Todd Kleinheinz
     (650) 725-9666

SOURCE Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus