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New 3D operating equipment at Forté Health

New 3D operating equipment at Forté Health, Christchurch is revolutionising surgery for patients and surgeons in the South Island.

Forté Health General Manager Rachel Hillyer says the new STORZ 3D equipment, which is the first of its kind in the South Island, has significant benefits for patients. “It provides much better definition for surgeons, allowing them to be more precise, reducing the amount of time people spend in theatre and their recovery time,” she says.

One of the biggest challenges for surgeons in laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery is the difficulty of performing complex manoeuvres, such as suturing and dissecting, in a three-dimensional space, when the endoscopic image is two-dimensional.

“When you are operating in two dimensions, you don’t realise that your brain is working incredibly hard to complete the picture,” gynaecologist Mike East says.

“After a long operation, you feel much less tired if you have used 3D and because you can see more clearly, you are able to progress much more quickly.”

The STORZ 3D technology at Forté Health was trialled by a number of local specialists in 2017. It is now being successfully used by several gynaecologists from Oxford Women’s Health for operations such as hysterectomies and endometriosis surgery.


Forté Health, which opened in January 2014, was developed by a group of Christchurch medical specialists who, following the Canterbury earthquakes, realised they had a unique opportunity to design a patient – focussed hospital that could deliver the highest standards in 21st century healthcare.

The original specialists worked in gynaecology, urology, otorhinolaryngology, and orthopaedics. They have since been joined by specialists in maxillofacial and plastic surgery. Today Forté Health is the largest specialist owned facility in Christchurch.

At the moment, Forté Health Hospital is being remodelled to include a new administration area and six new beds. Changes to the building will be finished by mid-2018.

Work is also underway on Forté 2, the building next door to Forté Health. This new venture, which has different owners and operators from Forté Health, will include radiology facilities, sports medicine specialists and a pharmacy. The new facility will open fully in January 2018 providing more consulting services and contributing to the establishment of a growing medical community in the northern part of Christchurch’s central city.


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