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Lutheran General set to be first in Illinois to perform new kidney cancer robotic surgery procedure

 Hospital's new robotic surgical system offers advanced features, capabilities

JUNE 1, 2011 - Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is the first teaching hospital in Chicago's north and northwest suburbs to acquire a da Vinci-Si Surgical System®, the most advanced robotic surgery system available. Robotic surgery enables surgeons to perform complex minimally invasive procedures through tiny openings with the least amount of risk, pain and recovery time for patients.

Utilizing a capability found only on the da Vinci-Si system, Lutheran General also is scheduled to soon become the first hospital in Illinois - and one of less than 20 in the U.S. - to introduce a new near-infrared fluorescence imaging guided system for operating on kidney cancer. 

Physicians will infuse a special dye into a patient's blood, which spreads throughout the body and creates a marked contrast between tumors and healthy tissue.  This contrast makes seeing and removing the tumor, while avoiding healthy tissue and blood vessels, easier.  In complex organs like the kidney, this clarity can be crucial.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer the advanced capabilities of the new da Vinci-Si Surgical System to our surgeons and our patients," said Anthony A. Armada, FACHE, president of Lutheran General Hospital and Lutheran General Children's Hospital.  "With the assistance of the da Vinci robot, our surgeons will be more able to deliver on Lutheran General's vision of always being the best by providing the safest, most effective procedures with the least pain and recovery time."

One of two da Vinci robots at Lutheran General, the new da Vinci-Si system and the fluorescence imaging add to the hospital's well-established and nationally recognized robotic surgery program.  Lutheran General continues to build on its base of procedures to treat a wide range of conditions such colon and colorectal cancers, prostate cancer, gynecologic cancer, uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

Lutheran General already is nationally renowned for its robotic surgery teaching expertise, and is acknowledged by the makers of the da Vinci robots as among the top 10 national teaching epicenters, or centers of excellence, for colorectal surgery.  The newly acquired surgical system will help expand Lutheran General's surgical teaching capabilities by offering the da Vinci Skills Simulator, and advanced computer that addresses the need for a realistic training environment for robot-assisted surgery. 

This new training technology can be thought of as a flight simulator for surgeons, with close approximation of the touch and feel of the actual da Vinci robotic surgical system.  The device offers a number of exercises that give surgeons the opportunity to gain extensive training in minimally invasive robotic techniques.

In addition, the da Vinci-Si Surgical System provides enhanced features including a 3-D high-definition interactive video display, lower profile arms and greater mobility.  The da Vinci robot also utilizes Endowrist® instruments, which offer great dexterity and range of motion to assist the surgeons.

Robotic surgery is a technique in which a surgeon performs surgery using a computer that remotely controls very small instruments attached to a robotic arm.  With the precision and control of the da Vinci robot, some of the more technically difficult surgeries such as removal of the prostate, where conventional open surgery is the traditional approach, are now performed at Lutheran General Hospital though very small incisions.

Lutheran General Hospital will host an informational public open house to showcase the new    da Vinci-Si Surgical System and its capabilities on Friday, June 17 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the hospital's main lobby.  Surgeons familiar with the da Vinci robot will be available to answer questions, and light refreshments will be served.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is a 645-bed tertiary, quaternary care, academic and research hospital, a Level I trauma center, and one of the largest hospitals in the Chicago area. It also is home to Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital in the greater north and northwest suburban area of Chicago and a major regional referral center for a broad range of neonatal and pediatric services.

In other recent recognitions, Lutheran General recently was re-designated a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care, spine surgery, knee and hip replacement by Blue Cross Blue Shield, and was named by Thomson Reuters a 100 Top Hospital for overall excellence in America for the 13th time.

Nate Llewellyn
Manager, Public Affairs and Marketing
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and
Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital

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