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Outpatient surgery center opens in Bonita
The 10,000-square-foot Ambulatory Surgery Center has four operating rooms and is located inside Bonita Community Health Center

Friday, March 16, 2001

By ERINN HUTKIN, echutkin@naplesnews.com

BONITA SPRINGS - With traffic congestion and road construction, Dr. Aldo Beretta admits it's often a chore for south Lee County residents to drive to Naples or Fort Myers, and such trips can be more trying when they involve a medical procedure.

Starting today, trips for outpatient surgery will be nearby for Bonita-area residents with the opening of Bonita Ambulatory Surgery Center.

The 10,000-square-foot surgery center with four operating rooms is located inside Bonita Community Health Center at U.S. 41 and Coconut Road. As one of the only outpatient surgery centers between Naples and Fort Myers, its presence is expected to offer convenience to patients who live between the two cities.

"This is going to be so much more convenient for the patients in Bonita Springs and Estero," Beretta said. "I think it's needed because of the population growth and convenience."

Beretta, who specializes in orthopedics and has an office in the surgery center, will be the first doctor to use the facility when he performs knee surgery this morning. With about 80 percent of his surgeries outpatient, Beretta had to operate at area hospitals such as Lee Memorial Hospital, where he often had a tough time fitting surgeries into a crowded schedule.

According to Dr. Robert Klausner, the surgery center's president and chief of staff, the center is equipped for almost any outpatient procedure. He said doctors can perform general surgery, such as removing a gallbladder or appendix, as well as ear, nose and throat surgeries. They can also perform ophthalmology procedures such as cataract removal, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, orthopedic operations on knees or shoulders and gynecological procedures.

"It's a full-service outpatient facility," Klausner said.

He said the center will be useful for people whose time in the operating room is short. Parents whose children need to have tubes inserted into their ears can go from home to operating room to home in just a few hours, he said.

Yet if a patient needs an overnight stay, he said, they can be transported Lee Memorial or NCH health systems.

The surgery center's host building, Bonita Community Health Center, is a joint project between Collier County's NCH Healthcare System and Fort Myers-based Lee Memorial Health System. The $11 million, 80,000-square-foot health center opened in December with a walk-in clinic and women's diagnostic center. About 20 physicians have private offices in the building. In addition to the surgery center, a three-room pain management clinic for treatment of acute and chronic pain also opens today.

Director of Surgery Jean Auger said the operating area has $1.5 million in equipment and a staff of 14 people. She said 16 doctors from Lee and Collier health systems will work in the center, which she said can handle about 20 cases daily.

Auger said the surgery center is booked today with a knee operation and five cataract surgeries. She said six procedures are scheduled at the pain clinic.

In addition to the new surgery center, an outpatient rehabilitation area is expected to open in the health center in about 90 days.

Klausner said as the health center continues to grow, he feels it will only add value to the surrounding area.

"This is really an exciting opportunity for Bonita," he said. "This is the type of thing that will ... ensure quality of life as the area grows."


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Proudly Serving Naples Florida, Bonita Springs Florida, Fort Myers Florida and surrounding areas.

Robert D. Klausner, MD