For the first time in a single year, more than 1,000 surgeries were performed at Orem Community Hospital during 1988. This represents an increase of nearly 15 percent over 1987, and a 61 percent growth since 1985.

Loren Kennett, a registered nurse and manager of surgical services, said that while performing 1,000 surgeries in a year is not unusual for many of Utah's larger hospitals, for a smaller hospital like Orem Community Hospital it is significant. Most hospitals of similar size in Utah perform only a few hundred surgeries a year.There are several reasons why Orem Community Hospital has seen an increase in the number of surgeries performed at the facility, Kennett said. The hospital completed an expansion several years ago that more than doubled the size of the surgical area. The hospital previously had two operating rooms, but now has four. Also, a seven-bed recovery room and six-bed same-day surgery suite were added.

The expansion also included a special operation room with an unusual sterile air flow system that recycles and filters the air in the room every few seconds. This significantly decreases the chances of infection.

Over the years, the hospital also has increased the types of surgery that can be performed there. Complex surgery, such as total hip or knee-joint replacements, is performed as well as general proceduressuch as gynecological, plastic and ear-nose-throat surgeries. More than half the surgeries, however, are minor and are done on a same-day basis.