Health care procedures have an inverse relationship to health care technology.
The smaller the incision, the larger the equipment needed, said Javon Bea, president and CEO of Mercyhealth.
That’s why Mercyhealth made a $15.3 million investment in its Janesville campus last year to build a new plastic surgery facility, add new ophthalmology procedure rooms, install a hybrid operating suite, update nuclear equipment and renovate its radiology department.
The goal is to keep patients in Janesville and offer as many minimally invasive procedures as possible so hospital stays are shorter and recovery is quicker, Bea said.
The new facilities and equipment will help accomplish that, he said.
The new Mercyhealth Plastic Surgery, Skin and Laser Center is already open and so is the renovated radiology department.
Ophthalmology rooms and the new hybrid operating suite will open in coming weeks. The first surgery in the hybrid suite, which allows multiple surgeries to occur in one room, is scheduled for the week of March 9, said Andrew Kaiser, operating room manager.
Mercyhealth will show the facilities to the public at an open house Saturday. The event will feature kids games, flu shots, blood pressure screenings, by-appointment hernia screenings and door prizes.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Bea said the renovations were “space-age tech” that could not have been foreseen 10 or more years ago.
The new plastic surgery facility made room in the hospital for the new hybrid operating suite, radiology department and nuclear medicine equipment.
Mercyhealth has seen increased demand for plastic surgery in recent years, Bea said.
Karina Quinn, a plastic surgeon at Mercyhealth, said she finds it rewarding to be able to change her patients’ lives and do it in a brand-new facility.
Many plastic surgery patients need services that are not voluntary aesthetic procedures. Quinn said she performs reconstructive surgeries for cancer survivors and trauma patients and hand surgeries for people who have lost strength in their hands, among other medically necessary procedures.
Aestheticians on staff provide skin care services and Botox injections, Quinn said.
“When you look good, you feel good,” Bea said.
Hybrid surgical suites reduce patient transfers by allowing multiple operations to be performed in one room.
For example, if a patient receiving a stent in his heart experiences a medical emergency and needs open-heart surgery, doctors can perform that surgery without having to move the patient.
That reduces the need to move patients to new rooms and make them come back for additional procedures, saving patients time and money, Bea said.
The new room is about three times the size of a normal operating room, Kaiser said.
Smaller incisions prevent complications and decrease the length of hospital stays and recovery periods, said John Snider, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
With the new technology, many of Mercyhealth’s patients will be able to get their medical treatments in Janesville, which doctors and patients usually prefer, Snider said.
When Snider was working in the 1970s, most heart patients had to go to a university hospital for surgery, he said.
The hybrid operating suite will be a “game changer,” Snider said.
As Quinn walked into the hybrid suite on a tour Wednesday, she told Snider she was jealous that he got to work in the suite.
Mercyhealth’s new hospital in Rockford, Illinois, has similar hybrid suites. Once Janesville doctors saw them, they quickly started asking for similar equipment, Bea said.
The Janesville expansion was funded with money that was left over from the construction of the Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside in Rockford.