New operating theatre to open at NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is expanding its main theatre complex with the opening of a new £1.5 million hi-tech operating theatre for specialist vascular surgery.

TV sports presenter Kevin Piper will be performing the formal opening of the new operating theatre at 1pm on Friday 6 March.

The new theatre will be used for vascular surgery and endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) surgery. Such surgery repairs the aorta, the largest artery in the body, when the abdominal aorta develops an aneurysm. An aneurysm is a localised weak spot that causes part of the artery to swell like a balloon. Aneurysms are more common in men, in people with high blood pressure and in those over the age of 65.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is an operation to insert a graft or artificial blood vessel into the aorta. This links the point above the aneurysm with the point below the aneurysm, sealing off the aneurysm from all wall contact with the circulating blood.

EVAR is a newer type of aortic aneurysm repair that involves using a stent graft (a tube made of synthetic fabric), which is supported by a metal mesh of tubing called a stent. This is threaded into the aorta through the arteries in the patient's groin under X-ray guidance, which means there is no need to open up the abdomen.

Kevin Piper said: “It's great to see the people of Norfolk being offered such cutting edge treatment and facilities and I'm delighted to be involved in the opening of this new theatre.”

Building work started last year on construction of a 17th operating theatre in the university hospital's main theatre complex. The additional theatre will be used by vascular surgeons. The expansion means the Trust has a total of 29 operating theatres, 27 at NNUH, and two at Cromer.

The new operating theatre is also kitted out with audio-visual links to beam live images from the theatre to the education centre. The £1.5 million investment has been made to increase overall operating theatre capacity at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The new theatre will be in use from Monday 9 March.

Last year the Department of Health published data that showed the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had the best mortality rates nationally for emergency AAA repair.

The trust has a total of 284 medical and surgical consultants and the last Healthcare Commission in-patient survey reported that patients rate quality of care at NNUH as the highest in the country compared to any other multi-speciality hospital.

Wednesday 4th of March 2009 01:00:10 PM