McGuire VA Medical Center unveils larger, high-tech operating rooms

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News was given a rare glimpse inside McGuire VA Medical Center on Friday. 

Three new operating rooms and a post-anesthesia care unit were unveiled as a part of a multi-million dollar improvement plan that will provide better care for veterans in the area. 

The construction happened in the midst of the fully-operational hospital — officials say much of the work was done after hours.

“It was a unique construction opportunity trying to build operating rooms adjacent to real-use operating rooms,” said McGuire Associate Director, James Dudley.

In 2018, McGuire performed more than 4,700 surgeries in its nine operating rooms.

Those statistics are expected to rise as the medical center grows to 12 rooms for surgery.

McGuire’s Chief of Cardiac Surgery and heart transplants, Dr. Gundars Katlaps, will soon operate in the newest and largest of the operating rooms.”New operating rooms will allow us to [operate] more efficiently and [at] higher volume,” said Dr. Katlaps.

Right now McGuire has $170 million worth of construction and upgrades in the works.

“We look at this initiative as a mechanism to modernize the facility,” said Dudley.

A big push with these projects, according to Dudley, is improving patient privacy and catering to veterans of all ages.

To improve privacy, McGuire is upgrading to single patient rooms — phasing out doubles and quads.

As for accommodating all age groups, internet access is key.

“All of them want instant access on their phones so of course, we’re making sure they have WiFi everywhere,” said Dudley.

McGuire says it served more than 62,000 veterans in Central Virginia in 2018.

The growth and expansion projects underway, according to officials, is directly due to increases in veteran populations in the region.

They’re even looking to open two satellite VA clinics in Henrico and Petersburg.

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