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Lawrence General Hospital Surgical Team Performs Hospital’s First Simulcast VATS Procedure

As one of the physicians who opened the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (MITS) Clinic, Dr. Shalini Reddy was already proving to be an integral part of the growth and quality of specialty care offered at Lawrence General Hospital. Having successfully completed a Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic (VATS) Lobectomy that was simulcast to a classroom of both domestic and international students, she and her team took Lawrence General to a whole new level of clinical excellence.

Dr. Reddy, a leading Surgeon at Lawrence General in VATS procedures, along with her experienced surgical team, performed the hospital’s first ever simulcast VATS procedure on June 4th and opened the door for future telemedicine opportunities. Video conferencing technology and capabilities allows for the compliant transfer of real-time video, securely and privately, broadcasting specific surgical procedures to a designated group of professionals who want to be trained and learn from leading physicians at LGH. Assisting Dr. Reddy on the procedure was Dr. Poddar, Surgeon; Dr. Setty, Anesthesiologist; John Baer, CRNA; Luis Robles, Surgical Technician; Marianne Lucey, RN; Janet Connors, RN; and Terry Dauphinais, Coordinator.

“Having the technological capability to perform complex procedures for the educational and training purposes of others puts Lawrence General on the academic map,” states Dr. P.K. Poddar who assisted Dr. Reddy on the VATS procedure. “We’re not just another community hospital, but rather one that possesses the clinical experience and technology to improve the quality of care and health outcomes of patients everywhere through advanced education and training.”
Implementing video conferencing technologies into the clinical arena enables Lawrence General Hospital the opportunity for future benefits such as the ability to expand its comprehensive educational and outreach services to other thoracic surgeons and residents. In addition, it provides the potential for hospital physicians and clinicians to complete C.M.E requirements via the use of video conferencing technologies, and the ability to better attract and recruit top physicians to the hospital.

“Although this is the first step for LGH in the use of advanced video conferencing technologies, we will continue to explore the overall benefits to the organization and its clinical staff,” states Jeff Brown, Chief Information Officer at Lawrence General Hospital. “We are excited to have been able to quickly adapt to the needs of Dr. Reddy and her surgical team, and look forward to further collaborations in bringing the latest technologies available for enhanced training and educational purposes to the clinical arena.”

In 2010 Lawrence General Hospital opened its MITS Clinic and opened its doors to much more complex thoracic cases, providing the surgical experience to treat lung and esophageal cancers, benign esophageal diseases, chest wall and mediastinal tumors, diseases of the pleura, chest wall and diaphragm, heart block and other disorders of the heart, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and more. Minimally invasive thoracic surgeries greatly enhances patient outcomes by reducing the length of stay at the hospital, minimizing post-operative pain and decreasing the overall recovery time.

About Lawrence General Hospital
Lawrence General Hospital was founded in 1875, and is the only private, non-profit community hospital in the Merrimack Valley & Southern New Hampshire regions. Driven by their mission of providing access to high quality, high value medical care for the community, Lawrence General serves nearly 300,000 patients annually, offering acute inpatient and emergency care for the whole family. Lawrence General Hospital is proud to be clinically affiliated with both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. In 2011, Lawrence General Hospital provided over $4,000,000 in Community Benefits to the Merrimack Valley. For more information on Lawrence General Hospital please visit www.lawrencegeneral.org.

About the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (MITS) Clinic
The Clinic treats a wide range of minimally invasive and other procedures associated with the chest area of the body, including lung resections; Pleruodesis and placement of PleurX Catheters for recurrent pleural effusions; decortication for empyema; esophageal resection; laproscopic nissen fundoplication; mediastinoscopy and resection of mediastinal tumors; and placement of pacemakers. The experience of the staff and the advanced techniques available enable the Clinic to greatly benefit patients by decreasing the length of their hospital stay, minimizing post-operative pain and decreasing the time it takes for them to return to normal activity. Some length of stays can be reduced by 50% due to our minimally invasive procedures and technology.

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