All in a Day's Work

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Sheralyn Tay
Marc Tan
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All in a Day's Work

Advancements in medical technology, clinical care and drug protocols are making surgeries today safer, faster and much more precise. It has also led to the rise in popularity of day surgery, where patients go home the same day of the procedure. Meeting the growing demand for private day surgeries, is the upcoming Novaptus Surgery Centre at Camden Medical.

Imagine an operating theatre that looks out on lush greenery and blue sky. And instead of being sterile and echo-filled, it is welcoming and comforting. What’s more one is able to recover in privacy while having a meal from your favourite Orchard Road restaurant. These are the small but important details that Novaptus Surgery Centre prides itself in providing for its clients.

Meeting day surgery demands

According to Prof. Lim Beng Hai, who founded the Centre, this private day surgery centre is among one of the few currently available in Singapore. The Centre launches in January 2019 and is designed with the needs of private practice surgeons and their patients in mind. With four operating theatres, five recovery lounges and five private suites, the facility can accommodate up to 30 over procedures a day. The space is equipped for a wide range of surgeries from plastic, dental and eye surgery to joint replacement, hand, laparoscopic surgery and endoscopic diagnostic procedures.

“This means surgeons have much greater access to surgical facilities,” explained Prof. Lim. As an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hand surgeries, he understands some of the challenges in performing day surgeries. For one, private specialists need to book theatres in acute hospitals, which are typically quite crowded so the time of surgeries not be ideal. There is also a risk that the scheduled day surgery – being elective – are cancelled should an emergency surgery crop up. “These pose great inconvenience to patients, especially if they have been fasting prior to surgery,” Prof. Lim noted.

A dedicated day surgery centre means surgeons can choose more ideal times for procedure with greater flexibility and assurance. Novaptus Medical Centre is able to leverage efficiencies because of its location within Camden Medical, he added. “We have ready access to other related medical services such as laboratory, diagnostic radiology and rehabilitative therapy, so we are able to leverage these for more holistic care.”
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Designed for surgeons and patients

Sister Wong Ngee Lan, who designed the Centre, is an experienced registered nurse with over three decades in the field. “When we designed the Centre, we asked ourselves: what do patients want and what do doctors want,” she said. The Centre is designed such that surgical environment and workflow is safe, efficient, accessible and productive, she explained.

The most unique aspect is the stunning view, which was a deliberate design choice. All four theatres make use of the characteristically large window that are part of the building’s architecture. This literally offers ‘surgery with a view’ – but also the option to frost up the window if needed.

Apart from being an ideal working environment for surgeons, the space also takes patient’s comfort into consideration. “It is important that when patients come in, the ambience is not so sterile,” said Dr Lim. This is especially important for day surgery because of the patient profile; many of them do elective surgery and are not in pain so they are more aware of their surroundings. The environment should make them feel at ease and alleviate their anxiety, he added.

This is also where the private recovery lounges come in so they can rest and recover in private after the procedure. A benefit of being based in Camden Medical, noted Prof. Lim, is the proximity to good food. Patients are often hungry after the procedure, and it helps that we can order their favourite foods for them, from xiao long bao to sushi. “We can complete the patient experience and extend to them every comfort,” he said.

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The information provided in this article is meant purely for general information purposes only and may not be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. The views, information or opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the writer and the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of, and are not endorsed by, Camden Medical Centre.