Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

August 3, 2007

OLBH opens $2.5 million endoscopy lab

Complex will increase number of procedures

RUSSELL — Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital on Friday unveiled its new $2.5 million endoscopy lab, a complex that increases the number of procedures the hospital can conduct.

The complex consists of four endoscopy suites — examination rooms where physicians perform colonoscopies, exams for common bile duct stones, stomach exams, checks for polyps, cancers, diverticulosis and ulcers, and other procedures — and an 18-bed recovery area, where patients are prepared for procedures and afterward recover from anesthesia and confer with their physicians.

For patients and their families, the expansion means they’ll have an easier time checking in and won’t have to wait as long for their exams, said Bill Lynd, coordinator of the lab.

Bellefonte’s endoscopy services previously had been quartered in two locations and had only four recovery beds.

With the centralization of inpatient and outpatient endoscopy services, Bellefonte will be able to perform at least 25 percent more procedures, said hospital spokesman Kevin Compton.

The procedures typically don’t take long; it’s the recovery from anesthetic that keeps some patients in their beds for awhile, Lynd said.

With the extra beds, those patients can be accommodated while others are checked in for their exams, he said.

Also, the recovery area includes more spacious compartments for each bed, making it easier to accommodate family members.

The lab is the first phase of a project that will include expansion of same-day surgery services.

The second phase, expected to be completed by February, will add three new operating rooms, three pre-op and three post-op beds and new and expanded waiting areas.

The entire project will end up costing about $5 million.

Bellefonte has seen a 94 percent increase in same-day surgeries since 2000, said Kevin Halter, vice president of planning and operations.

Increasing capacity will allow it to serve more patients more efficiently, he said.

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