Friday, August 26, 2011


LUNDER SURGERY: Vascular surgery in progress
Monday morning

AT 8:03 MONDAY MORNING, in operating room (OR) 51, the first surgical procedure in the Lunder Building began. By 8:15 am, surgeon David W. Rattner, MD, chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, had made the first laparoscopic incision, and a new era in MGH surgery was under way. OR 51 was one of nine new ORs to open on Aug. 22. 

There was some nervousness in the new surroundings, reported anesthesiologist Aalok Agarwala, MD, but “everything went smoothly. The culture today is sort of like in a factory, where anyone can stop the line if there are concerns.” No one did.

That the transition went without a hitch was not a surprise. The move had been preceded by months of training and simulations in the new environment, which features state-of-the-art equipment – including new monitors, digitally-controlled supply cabinets, imaging equipment and operating room tables that are among the most advanced in the country.

“Today is the culmination of five years of planning,” noted Joanne Ferguson, RN, MS, a staff specialist for Nursing Administration and Support Services and Lunder perioperative project manager. “Conceptual and space planning began in 2005. I transitioned to the building team in 2006, and since then, this project has been my life.”

The move began in earnest on Friday, Aug. 19, and OR and Interventional Radiology personnel labored through the weekend to transfer offices, supplies and equipment from the White, Jackson and Gray Buildings to the Lunder. At 5 am Monday morning, a Lunder OR command center was set up on Lunder 3 and manned by operations implementation co-leaders Edward Raeke, director of Materials Management, and Andrea Paciello, executive director of Radiation Oncology, with the assistance of Lunder project manager Jennifer Hood.

By 9:45 am, Rattner’s case was still proceeding, while next door in OR 52, surgeon Cristina R. Ferrone, MD, was in the midst of executing a Whipple procedure, an operation performed to treat cancerous tumors on the head of the pancreas.

Meanwhile, fourth floor operating rooms were also going live, and by 10:30 am two other operations were in progress. In OR 81, Joshua Hirsch, MD, associate vice chair of Interventional Imaging, was engaged in an embolization procedure, while in OR 83, associate vascular surgeon Michael T. Watkins, MD, was hard at work with his team on an angioplasty. Robert M. Sheridan, RT(R), director of Interventional Radiology, noted that OR 83 and OR 84 feature fully integrated operating room tables with a “C-arm” mounted on a robotic armature, which provides surgeons and radiologists with digital angiography for real-time images of the surgery. “The set up perfectly combines the radiological and operational environments,” he noted.

Peter Dunn, MD, executive medical director for the Operating Rooms, was a busy man on Monday as he moved from room to room and floor to floor, making sure that everything was proceeding smoothly.

“The opening of the new perioperative clinical spaces in the Lunder is a very special time in the history of the operating rooms at the MGH,” Dunn said. “The facility has been designed to enhance and support the wonderful care that is provided every day by our clinical and support teams. The first procedures have started off extremely well, a testament to all of the great work our teams have done preparing for this day.”

Dawn Tenney, RN, MSN, associate chief nurse for Perioperative Services, also had her hands full. “We not only opened operating and procedure rooms on Lunder 2 and 4, we also opened pre- and post-operative spaces,” she said. “All the months of planning, cross training, simulation and teamwork paid off in spades. It’s a beautiful facility, but as always, it’s the focus on the patient that brings out the best work of everyone.”

For more information on the Lunder Building and the ongoing move-in process,

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