St. David’s to open North Austin surgery center Wednesday

St. David’s HealthCare announced its new North Austin surgical hospital will open Wednesday and will offer, among other services, many robotics-assisted procedures.

St. David’s purchased the facility, off Louis Henna Boulevard, partly to serve the fast-growing populations of North Austin and Williamson County. The facility will offer a wide range of specialties, including brain, bariatric and orthopedic surgery, according to St. David’s managers. Executives said the facility is designed to emphasize aesthetic considerations, such as natural light in all patients’ rooms, which are intended to boost the spirits of surgical patients.

One of the facility’s main functions will be surgical procedures, particularly the use of robotics to assist in the operating room. For instance, a surgeon removing a gall bladder would direct a set of robotic arms holding various instruments. Procedures that rely on repetitive and straightforward tasks — think of the gall bladder removal, as opposed to neurosurgery — lend themselves to robotic surgery, said Allen Harrison, the chief executive officer of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.

The North Austin Medical Center, which is five miles south of the new surgery hospital, includes the Texas Institute for Robotics Surgery. About 20 percent of the North Austin facility’s surgeries are robotic, Harrison said.

St. David’s spent somewhere between $145 million and $150 million to buy, upgrade and equip the new new hospital, Harrison said. The hospital system bought the facility in May from the developer who originally built it. The property includes a 146,381-square-foot hospital and 80,000-square-foot office building; it has 40 patient rooms, 10 operating rooms and a six-bedroom intensive care unit.

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