LEWISTON — St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday for the public to see its new operating room complex.

The hospital will begin using the space on Feb. 1. The complex is part of a $23 million project that included an expanded lab and pharmacy.

The many changes include:

— Almost doubling the size of each operating room, from 385 square feet to 650 square feet.

— New technology, which may shorten the length of a surgery.

— A new ventilation system, including an “air curtain” that reduces the risk of infection. Every three minutes, a complete air exchange occurs in the operating room. Special filters remove 99.9 percent of particulates 0.3 microns and larger. Regulations require 95 percent filtration.

— Walls are fiberglass epoxy mixture with epoxy paint, material that can’t hold bacteria and can be easily cleaned.

The hospital performs an average of 5,200 surgeries per year. The five most common surgeries performed at the hospital are cataract, 1,559; orthopedic, 806; obstetrics/gynecology, 578; general surgery, 430; and neurosurgery, 321.

Visitors on Saturday will be met by tour guides at the newly renovated main entrance on Campus Avenue. Light refreshments will be served.


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