red-bank-riverviewRiverview plans to add two surgical suites to handle a growing number of surgeries, officials say. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center is planning a $15 million upgrade to its surgical facilities in coming months to meet rising demand, hospital officials announced Monday.

Expected to start this spring and to take some 16 months to complete, the work calls for the creation of two new high-tech surgical suites, bringing the total number of operating rooms to 12, says Riverview president Tim Hogan.

To make room for the new facilities at the east end of the third floor of the Blaisdell Pavilion, an existing same-day-surgery center will be relocated to the west end and modernized.

“This is a sizeable project for us,” Hogan tells redbankgreen.

Because all the work is internal, no additional space will be added to the footprint of the existing facility on East Front Street, says Hogan.

The new operating rooms will add to the medical center’s capacity for specialty surgeries, and will be larger than existing ORs to accommodate robotics and other high-tech wizardry. But the rooms will also be available for general surgeries, officials say.

The expansion is expected to bring in 445 additional surgeries, or a 5.5 percent increase, in 2013, according to Dr. John Rose, Riverview’s chairman surgery.

What’s driving the investment? Riverview’s growing reputation among physicians, and patients, as a place to do surgeries, Hogan says. Surgical volume has soared 23 percent over the past five years, he says.

“Riverview is a place that physicians want to do more surgeries in,” with a number of surgeons who had been affiliated with hospitals in New York City and elsewhere linking up with the hospital in recent years, Hogan says.

“We always had a strong reputation for surgeries,” he adds. “Now the goal is to take what we have and expand on it.”

The work will be funded with existing funds and a capital campaign, Hogan says.