Broomfield is the first hospital in the east of England with three 3D 4K laparoscopic operating theatres after the department’s latest upgrade.
Tom Gudde, service manager for anaesthetics, theatres and critical care, said the improvements mean the technology in MEHT’s theatres is now “as good as it gets”, and is helping achieve better results for patients.
“It makes the surgery much more accurate which gives better patient outcomes,” he said. “It has been proven that the patient’s length of stay is reduced, infection rates are reduced, and general post-operative complications, like bleeding, are reduced."
The 3D theatres are primarily used for upper GI abdominal cavity surgery but are also used for gynaecology and urology procedures.
The theatres feature four large HD screens which can display different images, and adjustable mood lighting. Surgeons and staff wear 3D glasses which enable them to see the depth of the laparoscopic procedures.
“When you work in 2D, it’s very difficult to gauge the depth when you’re operating," Tom added. "With 3D, it’s almost like you’re sitting inside the chest. The technology is fascinating.
“To have all three theatres operational in a 3D capacity gives us much more flexibility from a utilisation and scheduling point of view.
“In the past, we have had to move stacks (mobile 3D camera systems) around which wasn’t efficient because sometimes you had to move stacks in between cases. To have the integrated theatres, it means you can put the right speciality in the right theatre.
“Everybody is really happy. The surgeons are happier and happy surgeons have happy staff.”
With the opening of the medical school at Anglia Ruskin, Tom expects the facilities at Broomfield to be a big attraction for the surgeons of the future.
“By having the three integrated 3D theatres, we’re in a very unique position. It’s definitely a feature that we can offer that others can’t. It’s a major benefit for recruitment and training.”
Surgeon Sri Kadirkamanathan was a driving force behind the project and has hailed the impact the upgrade has had.
"It offers astonishing vision and clarity, making surgery extremely precise with great outcomes for our patients. Because of the integration there are no trailing cables on the floor, making it a lot safer environment for theatre staff.
"Multiple monitors and the multi-modality input for scopes and robotic appliances helps both the patient and surgeon during surgery, and teaching trainees is also a lot easier with this integrated system."