February 6, 2002
PHONE: 410-955-1534
E-MAIL: kblum@jhmi.edu

Hopkins Launches Minimally Invasive Surgical Training Center

Johns Hopkins' Department of Surgery has opened a training laboratory for today's surgeons to learn and perfect the minimally invasive techniques of tomorrow.

The new center, launched Feb. 6 with $3.5 million in funding from U.S. Surgical and equipment donations from Stryker Communications and Steris Corp., offers specialists at Hopkins and elsewhere a place to practice minimally invasive surgeries on animate and inanimate models and mannequins. It also provides a venue for surgical and medical device companies to test new instruments.

Known as the Johns Hopkins/United States Surgical Minimally Invasive Surgical Training Center (MISTC), the facility features two laboratory training areas with a total of nine operating tables, a state-of-the-art conference room with seating for 35, locker rooms and office space. Robotic surgery may be performed in either suite. Faculty and trainers standing at the conference room's podium can view and discuss operations conducted in the next room. Telemedicine capabilities will allow lectures to be broadcast anywhere in the world and permit physicians to direct operations in distant locations.

MISTC also will serve as a home base for continuing medical education courses for Hopkins residents and faculty.

"The training center represents another contribution U.S. Surgical has made to Johns Hopkins," said John L. Cameron, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery.

The center provides "new training ground not only for surgeons but also for anesthesiologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and all others interested in perfecting and learning advanced surgical techniques," said Paul W. Flint, M.D., center co-director and professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. "It also will allow us to develop new technology to better care for our patients."

Randy Brown, D.V.M., associate professor in comparative medicine and surgery, serves as the center's education director. Management oversight of the center will be provided by Flint and Gregory Bulkley, M.D., professor of surgery.

"This new facility provides an opportunity for considerable synergism between the research, development and utilization of the surgical techniques of the future," Bulkley said. "It is therefore particularly relevant to Hopkins' mission of patient care, research and teaching."

The center occupies renovated space most famously inhabited in the 1940s by the late Hopkins surgeon in chief Alfred Blalock. Blalock spent hundreds of hours there, rehearsing the operation that was the first to successfully repair the hearts of "blue babies," so named because their congenital heart defects left them blue from lack of oxygen.

Hopkins is one of a handful of medical centers in the country to host one of U.S. Surgical's "Training Centers of Excellence." Others nearby are at Duke University Medical Center and the Medical College of Virginia.








Related Web sites:

Johns Hopkins - Department of Surgery: http://www.med.jhu.edu/surgery/
U.S. Surgical: http://www.ussurg.com/
Stryker Communications: http://www.strykercom.com/


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