Mon General Hospital adds robotic-assisted surgery to its operating suites

Posted Date: 10/8/2012

    Mon General Hospital is now performing state-of-the-art robotic-assisted surgery.

    A da Vinci Surgical System was added to the hospital’s operating suites in early October. The system is designed to overcome the limitations of manual laparoscopic surgery by providing enhanced capabilities, such as high-definition three-dimensional vision and a magnified view.

     “Adding da Vinci robotic surgery to our operating rooms is another example of Mon General Hospital providing the latest technology to its patients and physicians,” said Mon Health System President and CEO Darryl Duncan. “This will further enhance our ability to provide minimally invasive surgery to our patients, with quicker recovery times.

    “In addition, today’s surgeons are being trained on the da Vinci system as part of their education,” Duncan said. “This system will help in our efforts to recruit additional surgeons and specialists to the Morgantown area.”

    Initially the da Vinci Surgical System will be used for gynecologic surgery. The first procedure using the da Vinci Surgical System at Mon General took place Friday, Oct. 5.

    “Our group believes strongly in a minimally invasive approach for gynecologic surgery,” said Jamie Lesnock, MD, of MidAtlantic Gynecologic Oncology of Mon General Hospital. “The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic platform that has been a breakthrough for minimally invasive surgery.

    “Robotically-assisted procedures provide the same benefit to patients as laparoscopy in terms of shorter hospital stays and faster recovery,” Dr. Lesnock said. “The additional benefit comes from the three-dimensional camera and articulated instruments which more closely mimics open surgery. This provides the ability to do more challenging cases via a minimally invasive approach.

    “The procedure is performed with the surgeon sitting at a console and controlling the robotic arms holding the instruments,” she said. “Radical hysterectomies and staging for gynecologic cancers are just two of the complicated procedures that can be performed with the robot.”

    The da Vinci system translates the surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body during surgery. Even though it is called a “robot,” the da Vinci system cannot operate on its own. The surgery is performed by the physician at the console.

    Some of the benefits of da Vinci surgery include minimal scarring, minimal pain, low blood loss, faster recovery and shorter hospital stays. “The da Vinci robot is an important and exciting addition to Mon General Hospital,” Dr. Lesnock said.

    “What separates our group from others in the area is our ability to perform complex cases using traditional laparoscopy or the da Vinci Surgical System,” said William McBee, MD, of MidAtlantic Gynecologic Oncology of Mon General Hospital.  “This gives us more flexibility in performing minimally invasive surgery on most all patients.

    “Many physicians can perform procedures using only one technique or the other,” McBee said. “Both of us (Drs. McBee and Lesnock) were trained by some of the world's experts in laparoscopic and robotic surgery.”  Dr. Lesnock trained at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh for residency and fellowship, and Dr. McBee at The Cleveland Clinic for residency and Magee-Womens Hospital for fellowship.

    In addition to gynecological procedures, the da Vinci Surgical System can be used for a variety of procedures, including gallbladder, urological, colon and rectal, and ear, nose and throat.

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