EAMC unveils new hybrid operating room

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By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

Advanced imaging and shorter patient visits are just a few of the benefits of East Alabama Medical Center’s new Artis zeego hybrid operating room system, which was unveiled to the public last Wednesday.
Featuring a large robotic arm, the new operating room equipment is designed to make work for surgeons easier, with the operating table possessing adjustable controls and settings to enable “virtually unrestricted freedom of movement,” according to a statement released by the hospital. This will enable users to take sharp 2-D and 3-D images while the patient is on the table. According to Siemens clinical application specialist Thomas Luebeck, this new operating room is a one-stop shop for surgeons.
“In the radiology department, if they take an angiogram, and they realize that they can’t treat this down here, they’ll have to take them to surgery … so the patient has to recuperate and leave to go to surgery … with this room here, it’s a one-stop shop and it’s all done right here,” Luebeck said.
Dr. Stephen Lock, a general surgeon for the Surgical Clinic, said the new system’s imaging will allow him to more quickly analyze patients and assess their medical situations.
“Instead of the traditional two-dimensional analysis for something like a CT scan, which is anterior and lateral, this machine gives me a three-dimensional, 360-degree angle and ability to look at the vessel, to see my repair and look and make sure it does what I want it to do. It’s so much better than before, and the technology is just amazing,” Lock said.
Being able to have such a complete view while the patient is on the operating table will cut down on stress to the patient and increase the efficiency and speed at which the surgeon works, according to Lock.
Luebeck said that the cost of the equipment itself is between $1 – $2 million, and to construct a room suited for the equipment, another $2 million. He said that despite the cost, this long-term investment is well worth it for EAMC.
“It’s a big commitment on the hospital end, but for guys like Dr. Lock and those other surgeons who are going to be using this, it’s going to help them be more efficient and bring in more revenue for the hospital. Ultimately, it will also offer the patients the best care and options available,” Luebeck said.
Lock said that they will begin using the room for operations starting Tuesday, and that he is excited for the opportunity to begin working with this new technology.
“For me, getting to use this equipment is like staying in the presidential suite in the Waldorf … I’m really excited about this technology and can’t wait to see where we are 10 years from now,” Lock said.

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