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The future of surgery: surgical centre expansion one year from completion


BC’s major surgical services are getting a massive upgrade.

In just under a year, Vancouver General Hospital’s Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre will expand for more surgeries to be performed with less wait times and cancellations. The expansion will add 16 new state-of-the-art, universal operating rooms and a 40 bed pre- and post-operative care unit.

Physicians and staff recently had a chance to review the first 60 square-metre operating room completely built out. The design was based on extensive consultation with physicians and staff and this was a chance to see the result of their designs and ensure everything is working for them.


Building universally-designed operating rooms allows for flexibility for a variety of surgeries – any case, any room. This means less waiting for rooms or moving patients around when emergency cases arise, which is 50 per cent of VGH’s surgical activity.

“That’s one of the drawbacks of our current design on the second floor. All our rooms are different shapes and sizes and only certain cases can go into certain rooms,” says Shelly Fleck, Vancouver Acute director of strategic initiatives and operations director for surgical services, Vancouver Acute & VGH simulation centre. “As a teaching hospital, there can be many people in these small rooms. Our surgical teams do phenomenal work within our current footprint.”

Technology leading the way in the future of surgery

The new operating rooms pack in technical advancements that improve patient care and the work and safety of physicians and staff. 

By addressing failing infrastructure and maximizing our surgical capacity across two floors, we’ll improve patient safety and quality outcomes and reduce inefficiencies and case over-runs resulting in overtime.

VGH OR Renewal technology March 3 update.jpg

Better care for the province

The third floor will open to occupancy in January 2021, with the first surgical cases expected in the spring after extensive training and simulations. 

“It’s amazing to see all this work come to fruition in actual concrete terms,” says Dr. Kelly Lefaivre, orthopedic trauma surgeon and clinical lead. “To be standing in this space is incredible, with all the work that went into the decisions made, big and small, from everyone on the project team. This really feels like a space we can work in.”

SOURCE: The future of surgery: surgical centre expansion one year from completion ( )
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