HOUSTON (January 08, 2013)

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital is bringing advanced surgical capabilities to Houston's bay area with the addition of a new da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery and a 14,500 square-foot expansion to its perioperative unit, opening in January. With the build out, the unit will now include a state-of-the-art hybrid operating-endovascular suite, three additional operating rooms, 25 new pre-operative rooms, and an upgraded family and patient waiting area.

Erin Asprec, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Southeast, said the recent growth underscores the hospital's commitment to providing residents of southeast Houston and Galveston with access to a broader range of medical services, leading technologies and breakthrough treatments.

"We're proud to bring these advanced capabilities to the region," explained Asprec. "We recognize that people want to receive high-quality, comprehensive patient care, close to home, and this expansion is part of our efforts to make that possible. Investments like this in our services today will only help ensure a healthier tomorrow for our community."

Kyle Price, Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Herman Southeast, added, "The opening of this new space will be a transformative milestone for patients requiring surgical care in Houston's Bay Area. We've equipped our operating rooms with some of the most advanced technology the industry has to offer and have redesigned the entire perioperative space to create a state-of-the-art healing environment with greater comfort and privacy for our patients."

The da Vinci Si will be used for a range of minimally-invasive procedures in urology, gynecology, and general surgery. It allows complex, delicate procedures to be performed more precisely by translating a surgeon's hand, wrist, and finger movements at a control console into corresponding micro-movements of the instrument's tip. Similar movements also control a camera to allow a surgeon to see inside a patient's body.

"The da Vinci Si is truly the next step in the evolution of surgical care," said Theodoros Voloyiannis, MD, Chairman of Surgery Service of Memorial Hermann Southeast. "Patients who undergo robotic-assisted surgery typically have shorter hospital stays, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery, and a quicker return to normal daily activities. It's a remarkable system that delivers an innovative, alternative approach to traditional surgery."

Unique from other surgical robots in the region, the da Vinci Si at Memorial Hermann Southeast includes Single Site™, a new operating platform designed for minimally invasive procedures through a single incision. The system also includes EndoWrist® One Vessel Sealer, providing high surgical precision, control, stability, and 3-D HD visualization for sealing and cutting of vessels.

In addition to the state-of-the-art services offered through the robotic surgical system, Memorial Hermann Southeast's hybrid operating-endovascular suite is one of only two in the nation with a dual-track flex arm. Designed specifically for vascular and cardiovascular patients, the equipment allows surgeons to perform open surgeries and endovascular procedures with advanced imaging, without transporting patients - essentially combining the capabilities of a cardiac catheterization lab and operating room into a single suite.

"The dual-track flex arm is just the beginning of the leading-edge technology available in the expanded perioperative unit," said Blu Baillio, Director of the Operating Room at Memorial Hermann Southeast. "All four of our new operating suites, including the hybrid room, were designed with versatility in mind and are equipped with fully high-definition integration and boom-mounted equipment. They can accommodate a wide range of procedures with ease, allowing for more efficient and effective patient care."

The new pre-operative suite includes 25 private rooms for pre-surgical care - six of which are dedicated as procedural/isolation suites. The main lobby has also been remodeled to include an open floor plan with a private physician and family consultation room, an electronic patient tracking system with real-time updates, and free high-speed Internet access.