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Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for Silver Cross Surgery Center

The Silver Cross campus got a new addition this week, with Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Silver Cross Surgery Center, a free-standing ambulatory surgery center located across the street from Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

The outpatient surgery center should be open for patients by the end of the month, said the center’s administrator, Joe Ollayos, pending final inspections by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“This is actually an extension of Silver Cross Hospital,” Ollayos said at the ceremony. “Its Silver Cross physicians will offer the community an additional place that they can get ambulatory surgery procedures.”

A procedure that is sure to be performed frequently at the center, Ollayos said, is cataract surgery. Additional services will include ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery; general surgery; gynecology surgery; ophthalmology and oculoplastics; orthopedic surgery; podiatric surgery; and urologic surgery.

The 14,000-square-foot center has three operating rooms, 12 pre- and post-op beds and a spacious family waiting area. Expectations are that 2,100 patients will be seen at the center during its first year.

“In the 5 years since we opened Silver Cross Hospital [in its New Lenox location],” President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital Ruth Colby said, “we are close to full occupancy in our surgical suites.”

The new surgical center, Colby said, will provide the same excellent Silver Cross experience while accommodating more patients. The hospital’s partner in building the center is United Surgical Partners International, the nation’s largest ambulatory surgery provider, Colby said.

Urogynecologist Dr. Nahla Merhi said she is looking forward to the opening of the center.

“I am so excited,” Merhi said. “There’s a huge need. Patients don’t want to spend too much time in the hospital. They want to go home the same day. They want to have a fast recovery with minimal pain. The Surgery Center is the way to go because its procedures are minimally invasive surgeries.”

Merhi said she has patients ready for procedures at the center.

“I have patients lined up,” she said. “I have patients scheduled already.”

According to a Silver Cross Hospital release, outpatient surgery minimizes patient time away from home and work, as well as surgical expenses and insurance co-pays.

The center also uses Steris Integration equipment, which displays images and other information on 27-inch field monitors and 55-inch wall monitors in its operating rooms.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Dr. Paul Kirchner, podiatrist and Silver Cross Hospital board member said at Tuesday’s ceremony. “To finally see it in front of us is more than I could have imagined.”

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