LISMORE Base Hospital is meeting the demand for more day surgery procedures, with the opening of a new recovery area.
The facility includes 13 new chairs and an expansion of day surgery beds from six to 10.
At the official opening yesterday, Lismore MP Thomas George said the new facility would help reduce waiting times for day surgery procedures.
The upgrade has also seen the return of ophthalmology (eye) services to Lismore Base, previously only available at St Vincents private hospital.
"This has been set up to meet the growing demand for day surgery and allows the Base to cater to new patients and reduce waiting times," Mr George said.
Two of the first ophthalmology patients were Joy Courage and Leone Potts, both of whom had cataracts removed.
Ms Potts described the procedure as being quick and painless. After being administered with a series of eye drops, she was given a local aesthetic and the operation itself only took around 10 minutes.
Patients are then taken to the recovery area where they were give a cup of tea and made to feel comfortable before going home.
Cataract patients return the next day for a check-up and Mss Potts said one of the ambulance officers told her she had "such a lovely sparkle in her eyes" after the operation.
The recovery area was constructed as an extension of the existing operating theatre floor located over the Medical Imaging Department on the floor below.
Extra staff have been employed as part of the expansion, and there has also been an increase in the size of the operating theatre staff lounge and the doctors write-up area.
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