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Children’s Expands Surgical Services

Children’s National Medical Center recently opened two state-of-the-art operating rooms, increasing the hospital’s capacity to provide surgical services to children. Children’s also opened an expanded waiting area for families whose children are having surgery.

Operating Rooms
The new ORs are 750 square feet each and bring the total number of operating rooms to 13. Each OR is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including flat panel screens displaying clear views of radiology imaging and real-time images of the field of operation.

One OR is designed specifically for orthopaedic surgery focusing on complex spine repair. It includes an O-Arm that provides real time, 3-D images. Children’s National Orthopaedic team, led by Laurel Blakemore, MD, is one of the largest in the region, with a team of pediatric surgeons specializing in complex spine issues.

The other OR will be used by general and thoracic surgery and uses the latest technology to optimize the quality of images used in minimally invasive surgery. The ORs are equipped to display images of the surgical field alongside real-time and static medical imaging, such as CT scans, providing precise and clear views. The new ORs include the ability to broadcast the procedure to a nearby education room, further enhancing Children’s ability to train future generations of pediatric specialists.

The General and Thoracic Surgery team at Children’s, led by Anthony Sandler, MD, estimates that more than 40 percent of procedures can now be done laparoscopically (using minimally invasive surgery), including appendectomies and lung resections. Minimally invasive surgery is easier on patients because it results in a smaller incision and a speedier recovery.

Surgical Waiting Area
The new waiting area is approximately 8,000 square feet and can accommodate many families. A quiet room is available for reading or meditation. An educational kiosk provides internet access for parents who want to update their family and friends. The waiting area also features a soothing color scheme.

Members of the family-centered care committee were involved in making decisions about the waiting area.

Children’s National has a dedicated concierge coordinator for Surgical Care, ensuring that patients and families’ needs are met. Children’s also offers additional support services for families, such as social work, child life specialists, and pre-surgical tours.

The new ORs are the first in a series of additions and renovations to the surgical services, which includes constructing additional ORs and renovating existing ORs.

Children’s National’s team of pediatric surgical specialists is unrivaled in the DC area. The team includes experts in pediatric surgery, pediatric anesthesia, and perioperative nursing. Children’s team of pediatric experts performs more than 14,000 operations each year at the Children's National Medical Center - Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Children's Medicine and the Ambulatory Surgery Center in Montgomery County.

Children’s surgical specialists are supported by a large team of fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists. As the region’s only hospital devoted exclusively to caring for kids, Children’s National is the only hospital that can guarantee anesthesia administered by a fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist around the clock.

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