Surgery center added to medical campus

Before the Carson Regional Medical Center opens it doors in late 2005, Carson City will get a new surgery center.

The Carson Surgical Hospital, which broke ground last week, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2005 adjacent to the new medical center at the north end of town.

The hospital is a joint venture between a group of 50 doctors, who currently own the Carson Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

It will replace the existing ambulatory surgery center and offer a wider array of services, according to Joan Lapham, executive director of both the current center and the upcoming hospital.

"We now do traditional outpatient surgery," said Lapham, in which patients are released within 24 hours after surgery.

Such procedures include operations on hernias and tonsils as well as laparoscopic surgery in which a fiber optic instrument, or laparsope, is inserted through an incision to give surgeons a view of the patient.

The new center will be able to keep patients for up to four days, which will allow doctors to do a range of other procedures, including hip and joint replacements, gall bladder surgery, some spinal cases and hysterectomies requiring large incisions.

"Those patients are mostly monitored for pain control," said Lapham.

"They are a healthier population."

The hospital says it will be able to offer surgeries at a lower cost than full service hospitals such as Carson-Tahoe, although Lapham said such savings would vary depending on the type of procedure.

The hospital is also billing itself as more pleasant experience for patients because all surgeries are elective and there are no critical care or emergency services to wreak havoc on schedules.

Carson Surgical Hospital will be a 49,000-square-foot facility with six operating rooms, two minor procedure rooms, a 10-bed post anesthesia care unit, a 15- bed admit/second stage recovery unit, 15 inpatient rooms, small pharmacy and laboratory, and diagnostic imaging center with MRI, CT scan, general radiology, ultrasound and mammography.

The hospital thinks that will be enough room, but Lapham said the architectural plans include the option of adding three more operating rooms and additional patient beds if needed.

It will have arrangements with the Carson-Tahoe Hospital and the future Carson Regional Medical Center for emergencies as well as with Washoe Medical Center and St.

Mary's Hospital for patients to be transferred there.

The building of the hospital will be funded with cash reserves of Carson- Tahoe Hospital and a combination of operating leases and conventional commercial financing.

Carson-Tahoe Hospital will recoup its investment through a long-term lease agreement.

The physicians in the doctor's group investing in the surgery center will practice there and have privileges at the medical center, as they do with Carson-Tahoe Hospital today.


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