Karl Storz has carried out the refit of theatres at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) and resurrected a redundant 1960s-style viewing gallery, until recently used as a store cupboard.
The OR1 design team set about transforming the spaces into something that would put UHW at the forefront of laparoscopic operating and training.
Working with an architect and subcontractor, Karl Storz created a high-tech, interactive, operating and teaching environment, combining a state-of-the-art training facility with the safest and most-efficient workspace for theatre staff.
Jared Torkington, consultant colorectal surgeon and clinical lead with the Welsh Laparoscopic Colorectal Training Scheme, said: “You can see the pride on people’s faces when they come to work in such a modern and exciting environment.”
The glass atrium viewing gallery is situated above the operating theatre. Students and visitors observing a surgical masterclass can look down through the glass and see the entire operating set-up on the table below, with patient and staff positioning, equipment placement and anaesthetic considerations, or look up at one of the three video monitors in the gallery and view the operation in detail.
Communication between upstairs and downstairs is two way via a wireless microphone worn by the surgeon and handheld microphones within the viewing gallery.
There are a number of HD cameras in the OR1 NEO operating theatre below: the endoscopy camera, HD IMAGE 1; an HD camera in the operating light; and other discreet cameras strategically placed in the ceiling. Any or all of these images can be relayed up to the gallery from the OR1 NEO touch panel in theatre, or selected in the gallery itself. An interesting feature is that two of the theatre’s seven HD cameras can be moved into various positions during the operation via iPad control in the gallery, allowing guests to focus on a particular chosen element of the operation.
A spokesman for Karl Storz said they believe this is the only operating theatre in the world currently offering control of the cameras, lighting, video routing and audio via the hand-held iPad device.
”Karl Storz has succeeded in creating a unique operating and training environment which offers the best of both worlds – the digital gallery, packed with displays, controls and two-way audio communications, provides close-up observation and unparalleled interactive opportunities, a significantly safe distance from the sterile field; while the experience for visitors in the gallery’s live viewing balcony is like being physically there among the surgical team, right in the heart of one of the world’s most-advanced operating theatres.