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Heartland Introduces High-Tech Operating Rooms

Four brand new, state-of-the-art operating rooms are now complete at Heartland Health.  The multimillion dollar expansion has changed the face of surgery at the St. Joseph hospital.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Heartland Health in St. Joseph has completed millions of dollars in renovations to its operating rooms. 

The hospital has added four new, state-of-the-art rooms, making its total number of rooms 14.

"Essentially everything in this room is new.  We've had these things in the past, but never to this degree," said Heartland director of surgery Tony Claycomb.

Claycomb beams with pride in excitement as he stands in one of the rooms, between five rotating monitors and bright lights.

All the equipment hangs from the ceiling, giving surgeons 360 degrees of motion while performing delicate procedures.

The monitors are for procedures called laparoscopic surgeries, which use small incisions and cameras.

"The way we do that is we put a laparoscope in and see the insides of whatever we're looking at on a monitor," said general surgeon Dr. Steve Long.  "Historically, the monitors were on a tower that was somewhat fixed."

The monitors can be viewed at whatever angle is necessary.

They can even conference call other physicians mid-procedure.

"These things aren't just pushing the envelope of technology, they translate into better patient outcomes, and shorter stays," Dr. Long said.

Claycomb agrees.  "[It also means] less bleeding, less pain, and a return to normal life more quickly," he said.

Heartland will add the new technology to its other operating rooms as well.

They expect to begin working in the new rooms later this week.
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