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Baptist Health Paducah to host surgical expansion grand opening

Baptist Health Paducah will host an historic look back at surgery before it unveils the newest technology in four new surgical suites at a grand opening.

The celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Baptist Heart Center auditorium.

It marks the completion of the first phase of a $17 million expansion, which includes a hybrid room, two open-heart suites and a room for da Vinci robotics. The next phase will include a new waiting room for families with more comfort and privacy.

The celebration will begin with a unique look back at the start of modern surgery. The Kentucky Humanities Council’s Henry Dowell will present the Chautauqua, “Dr. Ephraim McDowell: Frontier Surgeon.” He will be in character as Dr. McDowell of Danville, Ky., known worldwide as “the father of abdominal surgery,” following his removal of a 22-pound ovarian tumor in 1809, some 35 years before anesthesia was developed.

Following the presentation, visitors can see the very latest in surgery. Baptist Health Paducah staff and surgeons will give guided tours of the new operating rooms, including the1,333-square-foot hybrid operating suite, the largest in the region, where two or more procedures can be performed during one surgery. It often will be used for heart cases, but it also can be used for vascular and other surgeries.

The hybrid room will enhance medical treatment available to area patients, said cardiothoracic surgeon K. Keung Ung, M.D. “It will allow multiple specialists to work more closely together, bringing the strengths of each field together to develop ‘hybrid’ solutions to many difficult medical problems.”

The addition of four operating rooms also will allow greater flexibility in patient scheduling, he said.