New Surgical Center Coming Soon to Hadassah’s Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower

Thursday, Sep 12 2013

Eagerly anticipated is the soon-to-be-completed Surgical Center on Lower Level Four of the Hadassah Medical Organization's Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower.

Architects, engineers, physicians, nurses, and a range of other professionals studied operating facilities and systems worldwide, along with health profiles and demographics. They pinpointed Hadassah's many areas of surgical excellence, mapped its future directions, and explored the developing surgical strategies, technologies, and procedures of tomorrow. "We looked at our everyday needs, tried to anticipate those of the future, and worked to address them all," explains Prof. Avi Nissan, head of Hadassah's Department of Surgery. "Ideally, we're building an infrastructure that will accommodate tools as they're developed--from those in design to those not yet thought of."

With the distinction of being the largest floor in the Tower, The Surgical Center extends underground far beyond the building's upper footprint to allow for its 20 operating rooms and pre-and post-op recovery units. An intra-operative mobile CT scanner, designed by the United States Defense Department for use on the battlefield; a mobile MRI machine that can roll between one of the specialty operating rooms and a procedure room; and specially designated sections for children are among the Center's special features.

The new operating rooms are light years away from the current ones in the old building. For example, instead of the walls being porous plaster, they are large steel panels which eliminate glare, meet stringent hygiene and safety requirements, shield against x-rays and protect against fire. A special three-color combination of lights allows surgeons to change the type and degree of illumination as needed.

Once the Center opens, the former operating room complex will be used for major and minor same-day surgery, while the new Surgical Center will be dedicated to complicated cases. Prof. Nissan brings out that having additional operating rooms available will expand the number of patients they can treat.

The new operating rooms, however, are designed to provide the best environment to perform complex trauma surgery, complex oncology procedures, organ transplants, and advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Hadassah's surgery department, he reports, "is a leading center in each of these fields and the new operating rooms will give us the tools to excel in our expertise."

For example, one area of expertise is the novel approach introduced by Prof. Nissan and his surgical team to treating peritoneal metastasis—cancer that has spread into the lining of the stomach. The approach involves combining radical surgery with intra-operative heated chemotherapy. At the moment, the procedure is being performed in the Center for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies at Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem. "We have already successfully completed five very complex cases," Prof. Nissan reports. "We are the leading center of its kind in the world," he says.

At the same time, he notes that all the members of Hadassah's surgery department are also involved in research. "Hadassah's Surgery and Critical Care Research Laboratory and our Center for Innovative Surgery," he says, "ensure that we will continue to be leaders in the field." In addition, to better equip himself to build a world-class, patient-centered surgical center, Prof. Nissan just completed a one-year course at Harvard University's business school on managing health care delivery.

Prof. Charles Weissman, Chair of the Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, praises the architects who used their creativity to ensure that the protected underground floors, "essentially a bunker," are inviting places to work. For example, there is the Patient Reception Center on the entrance floor that is designed for pre-admission evaluation, testing, and preparation for elective procedures.

As Prof. Yoram Weiss, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, expresses: "Hadassah has very good doctors but, until now, we didn't have an infrastructure to match those of other Israeli institutions. In the Davidson Tower, the surroundings, the experience. and the medicine are all at the same superb standard."


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