CHARLESTON - Roper Hospital opened five renovated operating rooms Friday, the first installment of a $10 million renovation to overhaul the downtown Charleston facility's surgical space for the first time since the 1960s, hospital officials said.
The first operations will be performed in the high-tech space within two weeks, said Lisa Sblendorio Horvath, who led the renovation effort for the hospital.
Five additional operating rooms now will be similarly updated, said Horvath, director of Perioperative Services at the hospital.
Among the most cutting-edge improvements are high-definition monitors that allow surgeons to transmit video of live surgery to other hospitals, surgeons said.
Experts in other cities or states, who will be able to see the same images as the surgical staff in the Roper operating room, can give second opinions on complex surgeries immediately, said Dr. Walter "Bo" Blessing, a general surgeon.
"The way it was, a nurse would be holding a phone to your ear as you describe what you're seeing," Blessing said.
In the renovated operating rooms, monitors displaying surgery are suspended from the ceiling instead of being pushed around the room on unwieldy carts, he said.
Operating tables in the new rooms have a set of eight maneuverable, hexagon-shaped lights with LED bulbs that do not get hot like traditional surgical lamps, Horvath said.
Other improvements include sliding stainless steel doors that are opened by kicking a plate and stainless steel "modular" walls that easily can be moved for future operating room redesigns, Horvath said. The walls, designed by Daniel Island company TRUMPF Medical Systems Inc. and used in Europe, are the first to be installed in a U.S. hospital, Horvath said.
Funding for the upgrades, planned more than two years ago, came from the Medical Society of South Carolina, Horvath said.