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The Queen's Medical Center now has two operating rooms specially designed for minimally invasive surgery. They are among the most advanced in the U.S. Kenric Murayama, MD, FACS, recently showcased the technology laden ORs, and demonstrated a new skills lab created to train laparoscopic surgeons. After developing and directing a highly successful minimally invasive surgery program at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Murayama returned to Hawai’i to become director of QMC's Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and of the Comprehensive Weight Management Program. He is also Professor of Surgery, Vice Chair for Clinical and Hospital Affairs and Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Queen's surgeons already perform a wide range of minimally invasive procedures, but Dr. Murayama is here to build nothing short of a premier program. Advantages of the technique are smaller incisions, better cosmetics, quicker recovery and decreased wound complications. Requiring different skills than traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgeons insert a thin, lighted viewing lens (laparoscope) into the body to manipulate surgical instruments via a monitor in the operating room.

New, flat screen monitors-placed conveniently on booms-are one of the most notable features of the new operating rooms. Surgeons can also view digital x-rays—instead of films—on the monitors, or on a flat panel display on the wall. Other advantages are evident by their absence. For example, gone are equipment cords and bulky equipment.

The new Skills Lab was built to allow Queen's to become a teaching and training center via telemedicine. At the Skills Lab are monitors which can view a surgery in progress. An observer can zoom in anywhere in the OR during a procedure with razor sharp resolution, and two way telestration is available, allowing both surgeon and trainee to communicate by "drawing" on the screen. Residents can also practice manipulating and cutting inanimate objects with laparoscopic equipment.

Queen's Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery offers general and many specialized surgeries, including bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) under Queen's Comprehensive Weight Management Program. As the field expands, Queen's is equipped to apply advanced techniques, and to offer increasingly advanced procedures to the community.

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