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Limerick cancer patients get a theatre for the digital age

THE Mid-Western Regional Hospital is to get a state-of-the-art new operating theatre for keyhole surgery for colorectal patients.

THE Mid-Western Regional Hospital is to get a state-of-the-art new operating theatre for keyhole surgery for colorectal patients.

It is the latest initiative of the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust, the charity which has spent over €17 million developing facilities and purchasing medical equipment for hospitals across the region since 1986.

It has spent a six-figure sum to equip the theatre with the latest iSuite technology developed by Stryker - and which should be operational by Christmas. Staffing and running costs are to be met by the HSE.

An operating theatre for the digital age, the iSuite is the first facility of its type to open in Ireland and has a range of features – from voice activation to high-definition imaging and video – designed to help surgeons in their work and improve patient outcomes.

In Limerick, the technology will be used for minimally invasive colorectal procedures that should allow patients recover and begin radiotherapy and chemotherapy more quickly.

A spokesperson for HSE explained how the new theatre would work:

“The new theatre will be operated by Eoghan Condon, Professor Calvin Coffey, David Waldron and their medical team. Mr Condon and Professor Coffey recently joined Mr Waldron from the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA, where they were trained in laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Laparoscopic colorectal surgery allows colon cancer to be removed using very small keyhole-type incisions. It results in significantly less trauma for the patients and consequently patients with other major conditions who in the past may have been turned down for surgery can now receive curative treatment. This technique also has the advantage of allowing patients to recover more quickly allowing them to commence their adjuvant treatment earlier and avoid entering the intensive care after their operation.”

The addition of new technology means colorectal cancer patients in Limerick can now have world-class treatment on their doorstep.

“The development of a fully integrated theatre iSuite will allow surgeons perform this type of surgery on all colorectal patients in the Mid-Western Region. The new system will improve outcomes, reduce morbidity and allow patients who may previously have been refused surgery to be treated at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital to world-class standards. The iSuite will also enable broadcasting and video conferencing to anywhere in the world using Stryker’s SwitchPoint infinity system. Stryker is a leader in integrated theatre’s throughout the world. The system is being installed by Sisk Healthcare, trading as Tekno Surgical.”

Due to open by year’s end, the new theatre is only the latest addition to healthcare facilities in the region provided by the trust.

Working closely with the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and Pro-Am, the trust has made a difference in improving treatment in the fields of cardiac services, cancer treatment, radiology, orthopaedics, intensive care, urology, ophthalmology, neurology, renal medicine, respiratory and dermatology equipment.

And construction work continues apace on the €13 million, six-storey unit at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital which the trust is developing along with the Parkinsons Association and TLC4CF, again with the support of the McManus Foundation.

This development will house new facilities for breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, dermatological, stroke and other neurological patients and is on course to open early in 2014.

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