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El Camino Hospital Media Releases

El Camino Hospital Los Gatos Announces New Services and Technologies, Delivering on Its Promise to Bring State-of-the-Art Care to Community

Los Gatos, CA - December 16, 2009 - El Camino Hospital Los Gatos today reported on its progress in its first months of operations since reopening. Accomplishments in technology improvements and physician and staff recruitment have resulted in a strong offering of health services for the community.

Key new or enhanced programs and services at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos include:

  • State-of-the-art interventional surgery suite for vascular procedures
  • New da Vinci Si HD Surgical System for minimally invasive robotic surgeries
  • Digital mammography capabilities, coming in January
  • Lithotripsy suite that provides minimally invasive treatment for kidney stones

"We are pleased to report that clinical operations are on course, less than six months after opening the hospital," said Eric Pifer, M.D., chief medical officer of El Camino Hospital and president of El Camino Hospital Los Gatos.

"As has been the case for our Mountain View campus, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos' model of care has allowed us to put resources back into the community by investing in the latest technologies and services that improve the quality of care," he added.

Interventional Suite Available for Patients; Surgeries Underway
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos took a significant step forward with the opening of the interventional suite for "head-to-toe" vascular procedures. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects 10 million Americans annually and can lead to other health problems that include stroke, kidney malfunction, aneurysms, leg pain and limb loss.

"We can now offer first-in-class minimally invasive treatment options for patients in our community that previously were not available," said Jim Joye, D.O., director of cardiac catheterization labs at El Camino Hospital.

Dr. Joye, a nationally recognized interventional cardiologist and director of research and education at El Camino Hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute, also stated that plans are underway to expand services to include cardiac procedures which will ultimately allow for diagnostic coronary angiography and treatment options for patients. The interventional offerings are further expanded by the recruitment of Fabio Komlos, M.D., who will serve as the dedicated interventional radiology specialist in Los Gatos.

"We are all very excited about these developments because we are now able to bring the advanced care our patients deserve directly to their hospital rather than having to send them elsewhere for specialty care," Dr. Joye said.

Latest Robotic Surgery Equipment Available for Minimally Invasive Procedures
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos features the latest da Vinci Si HD Surgical System enabling physicians to perform minimally invasive prostate cancer, gynecologic and bariatric surgeries.

To date, the hospital's specialized robotic surgery team has performed 13 surgeries using the da Vinci System, with several more surgeries scheduled this month. The robotic procedures performed to date include removal of kidney stones, cystectomies, prostate surgeries and myomectomies (the removal of uterine fibroids). The team has also performed a number of hysterectomies, including hysterectomies for treatment of endometriosis, a painful condition caused by uterine lining-type cells growing in the pelvis.

According to James F. Lilja, M.D., who specializes in Gynecologic Oncology, most procedures with the da Vinci system will be performed by the obstetrics and gynecology department, mostly for noninvasive hysterectomies. Dr. Lilja has been using da Vinci systems for both benign and radical surgery since 2006. "Surgeries performed with the da Vinci system help patients with fewer complications, less pain, less scarring and quicker recovery times," he said.

The new system features enhanced three-dimensional, high-definition vision with superior visual clarity of target tissue and anatomy. The system's instrumentation offers exceptional motor control and natural dexterity, allowing the robotic arms to essentially become an extension of the surgeon's own hands--but with the benefit of full range of motion that's otherwise not possible.

Digital Mammography Units Available for Patients
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos will soon have digital mammography units; an outpatient unit will be located at 555 Knowles. Physicians expect to begin scheduling imaging appointments in January.

The two Siemens systems, MAMMOMAT Novation image detectors, allow imaging of a broad range of breast sizes at the lowest possible dose and offer more comfort for patients. In addition, the computer-assisted diagnosis (CAD) feature has been shown to help increase cancer detection rates.

"This technology advances our breast imaging capabilities," said, Imtiaz Qureshi, M.D., medical director of radiology services at both El Camino Hospital and El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. "As we know, extensive research demonstrates that early detection is important in breast cancer treatment and outcomes. Thanks to these acquisitions, we now have better tools to help us with early detection."

Urology Center Seeing Record Number of Patients
Since El Camino Hospital Los Gatos opened in July of this year, its urology center, which has the only on-site dedicated lithotripter among hospitals in the Bay Area, has seen more than 620 patients, a 47 percent increase from the previous year at the facility under the former owner. Lithotripsy is a non-invasive procedure that eradicates kidney stones with a minimum of pain and helps patients forgo difficult, invasive surgeries.

"We have seen an increase in urology cases across the board, including the treatment of kidney stones, prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, incontinence and erectile dysfunction," said Bido Baines, executive director of the urology department. "Our program is unique, not only because of our customer service, our flexibility in scheduling and the expertise offered physicians by technicians, but also because we have paid special attention to building strong physician relationships and loyalty. As a result, physicians are now coming from the South Bay, the North Bay and surrounding areas to access our services."

OB/GYN Unit Thriving; Other Activities Continue
The hospital is also pleased to announce that, as of last week, 185 infants had been delivered, including three sets of twins, since its July opening.

El Camino Hospital reopened the Los Gatos facility on July 12, just three months after taking it over following the hospital's initial closure last April. The services offered at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos include emergency care, acute health care services, labor and delivery, urology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, diagnostic radiology, physical/occupational/speech therapies and several other specialty services.