New theatre brings smiles all round

May Johnstone (centre) was the first person to undergo an operation in the new Launceston General Hospital theatre. With Mrs Johnstone are director of nursing-surgery Cassandra Sampson and director of surgery Brian Kirkby.

May Johnstone (centre) was the first person to undergo an operation in the new Launceston General Hospital theatre. With Mrs Johnstone are director of nursing-surgery Cassandra Sampson and director of surgery Brian Kirkby.

AFTER 63 years of marriage,  Colin Johnstone was worried when wife May had an operation last week at the Launceston General Hospital.

But her experience was enhanced by being the first patient in a new operating theatre.

Mrs Johnstone, of Youngtown, had an abdominal aortic aneurysm (blood-filled bulge in the aorta artery) repaired in a new hybrid theatre.

Hospital director of surgery Brian Kirkby and nursing director - surgery Cassandra Sampson said the theatre provided enhanced imagery-assisted surgery, minimising the need to move patients for X-rays or other image work.

Mr Kirkby  said the work was done through keyhole surgery under X-ray control, minimising the hospital stay.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson yesterday joined the two health professionals at the hospital to congratulate the Johnstones on the success of the procedure.

Mrs Johnstone said she rated her  hospital care at 100 per cent.

``Technology is marvellous, I feel good,'' she said.

``I could not have had better care from the minute I came into admission.''

The theatre is one of five that have been progressively opening from last week, following the LGH upgrade.

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