McLean County's only robotic-assisted surgery program – Advocate BroMenn Medical Center's da Vinci® Surgical System – has recently added several general surgery procedures to its repertoire of cases performed at the hospital's Cohn Suite for Robotic Surgery.
Surgeons Dr. Gerardo Grieco, Dr. Brian Gebhart and Dr. Darryl Fernandes have begun using the da Vinci® system for routine gall bladder removal, and inguinal and ventral hernia repair, with plans to expand to more complex procedures, such as colon resections, hiatal hernia repair and reflux surgery.
Robotic-assisted surgery, in which surgeons control the precise movement of robotic "hands" during minimally-invasive procedures, has long been used primarily for gynecological operations, such as hysterectomies, and urological surgeries, such as prostatectomies. The addition of general surgeries is relatively recent.
"It's nice to be at the forefront of bringing a new technology to the community," says Dr. Gebhart, an Advocate Medical Group surgeon who practices with General and Colorectal Surgical Associates in Normal. "Not a lot of general surgeons are using the da Vinci® yet, but I find it to be an improvement in most cases over even laproscopic surgery, in that the instruments are more precise and flexible."
Like laproscopic surgery, robotic-assisted surgery uses small incisions, which for the patient usually results in shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and scarring, less blood loss, and a faster return to normal activities. For surgeons, Dr. Gebhart says, robotic-assisted procedures provide the benefit of exceptional visualization through 3-D, high-definition images and sensitive, fluid instruments that operate just like the surgeon's own hands. He adds that his patients have been very open to robotic-assisted surgery and outcomes have been very good.
Since it began in August 2010, BroMenn's da Vinci® program continues to grow at an amazing pace, reaching the 100-case milestone in April and just recently passing 200 surgeries. In addition to the general surgeons, the system has been used by OB/GYN physicians Dr. Jeffrey Galvan, Dr. Dele Ogunleye, Dr. Joseph Santiago, Dr. Susan Svientek and Dr. Sherri-Lee Thornton, as well as urologist Dr. Vicken Chalian.
More information on BroMenn Medical Center's da Vinci Surgical System can be found at www.advocatehealth.com/bromenn/davinci.
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