MER153_WebStory_2.pngSurgery of the Future: Mercy offers patients robotic-assisted surgery

When it comes to surgery, bigger is not better. In fact, the smaller the surgical incision, the less risk there is for the patient. That’s why Mercy surgeons are always looking for less-invasive solutions. With the da Vinci® Surgical System, Mercy offers patientsthe latest minimally invasive advance: robotic-assisted surgery.

Robotic-assisted surgery results in less pain, significantly less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery than with traditional open surgery. Mercy surgeons use robotic-assisted surgery to perform hysterectomy, remove the adrenal gland and kidneys, and treat prostate cancer, uterine fibroids and a variety of other urologic and gynecologic conditions.

“Mercy truly has the latest in equipment and technology,” says John Cudecki, M.D., chief of Urology at Mercy. “Robotic-assisted surgery has taken our treatment-options to a new level.”

Greater Precision, Faster Recoveries
In robotic-assisted surgery, doctors insert tiny instruments and a special 3-D camera through several small incisions. During surgery, the da Vinci system is positioned over the patient while the surgeon sits a few feet away at a special console. The surgeon views real-time, magnified, 3-D images of the surgical site and uses remote controls to manipulate the surgical instruments.

Although the robotic arms hold the surgical instruments, the physician controls all aspects of the surgery, explains Michael Gomez, M.D., a Mercy urologist. “The robotic system replicates my own hand movements. It doesn’t do anything I don’t tell it to do,” he says.

One great advantage of robotic-assisted surgery is it allows greater precision and control, Dr. Gomez says.“With the robot, you can manipulate instruments that are only 2 to 3 centimeters in length,” he explains. “As a result, we’re able to reach places we couldn’t access before to perform delicate surgery.”

Advancing Prostate Cancer Care
The accuracy of the da Vinci system is especially helpful with prostatectomy (removal of the prostate), and robotic-assisted surgery is becoming standard treatment for prostate cancer. That’s because it is extremely precise and can result in less nerve damage, explains Dr. Cudecki.

“With the 3-D visualization and magnification that robotic-assisted surgery provides, we can identify nerves and blood vessels much better,” he says. “As a result, cancer control, continence and the ability to spare nerves for preserving sexual function are much improved.”.

Sophisticated Care for Women
Robotic-assisted surgery also presents a minimally invasive alternative to many gynecologic procedures. Robotic-assisted hysterectomy, for example, is the leastinvasive option for women requiring removal of the uterus for early-stage cancer treatment or treatment of benign conditions like excessive bleeding. And robotic-assisted myomectomy, for the removal of fibroids, is an effective alternative to hysterectomy for women who want to maintain fertility, explains Cheryl Wolfe, M.D., chairperson of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy.

“With the robot, you’re adding 3-D views of the tissues and organs, and the magnification allows you to see minute details you could not see before,” she says. “It’s taking minimally invasive surgery one step further.”

Learn more about the da Vinci Surgical System at Mercy...



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