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da Vinci robotic surgery at Mercy Hospital
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Surgeons at Mercy Hospital use less invasive robotic surgery to perform complex operations that were impossible without open surgery just a few years ago.
If your doctor has recommended major surgery as the best option for treating your condition, you may be a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery. This new approach to surgery is changing the way doctors operate – and the way patients recover.
Like other minimally invasive procedures, robotic-assisted surgery is performed through a few tiny incisions. However, it offers surgeons higher magnification, better flexibility and more precision than conventional laparoscopic surgery.
Whether you have an enlarged prostate, uterine fibroids or another condition that requires an operation, robotic surgery offers many potential benefits, including shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to daily activities.
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Surgeons at Mercy’s Heart & Vascular Center use robotic surgery for selected cardiovascular procedures, including mitral valve surgery. The advanced technology allows physicians to operate less invasively than with traditional surgical methods. Because the incisions are smaller, patients have less pain and recover faster.
If it is not possible to correct a gynecologic condition with medication or other methods, doctors traditionally recommend either open abdominal surgery or laparoscopic surgery. However, da Vinci® robotic surgery is fast becoming the preferred option for treating many gynecologic conditions. In some cases, for example when a woman has dense scarring from previous operations, robotic surgery is the only alternative to open surgery.
Many women will experience problems affecting their uterus (womb) or other reproductive organs at some point in their lives. In fact, one in three women in the United States will have surgery to treat uterine disorders before she turns 60 — including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, prolapse and gynecologic cancer. These problems can cause chronic pain, excessive bleeding, infertility or other disabling conditions.
A uterine fibroid is a common non-cancerous tumor that develops within the uterus, the hollow, muscular organ that holds and feeds a fertilized egg. Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters. They often increase in size and frequency with age, but then shrink in size after menopause. While not all women with fibroids experience symptoms, common problems can include excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and infertility.
Endometriosis is the noncancerous growth of the uterine lining. It occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other places in the pelvic cavity causing pain, irregular bleeding and infertility.
Uterine prolapse occurs when the muscles and connective tissues that hold pelvic organs in place become weakened. The uterus may fall or slip from its usual position into the vaginal canal, causing discomfort, pressure and pain.
Gynecologic cancer can occur in the ovaries, cervix, uterus or another part of the reproductive system. The risk of getting gynecologic cancer increases as women age. With regular checkups and early detection, many gynecologic cancers can be diagnosed and treated before they become life threatening.
Lung cancer or disease
Traditional open surgery to treat lung problems has a number of drawbacks caused primarily by the large incision required and a long recovery time of 8-12 weeks or more. Many cardiothoracic surgeons now recognize the benefits of using less invasive procedures, whenever possible.
The da Vinci® Surgical System at Mercy provides surgeons and patients with an option that can be a more effective and less invasive treatment for lung cancer or other conditions of the lung that require surgery.
One of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, prostate cancer will affect approximately 16% of American men sometime in their life. What causes prostate cancer is unknown, but if it is detected and treated early, survival rates are among the highest of any cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer you may have several treatment options depending on your age, health, personal preference and the stage of the disease. Surgery is the only option for removing a cancerous prostate.
Many urologic problems can be treated without surgery. However, if prescription drugs or other medical therapies do not help, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Some common urologic conditions that often require surgery include enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia), prostatitis, prostate cancer, kidney obstructions (known as uretero-pelvic junction obstruction), urinary incontinence and diseases of the bladder.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
As a man ages, it is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate can restrict the flow of urine and lead to gradual loss of bladder function. Symptoms of BPH include difficulty starting and stopping the urinary stream, the need to urinate two or more times at night and a weak, interrupted flow. If untreated, BPH can lead to more complications including bladder stones and infection.
Prostatitis is swelling and irritation of the prostate gland. The inflammation can develop rapidly (acute bacterial prostatitis) or start slowly and continue for a long period. Men age 50 or older who have an enlarged prostate are at risk for prostatitis related to urinary tract infections.
Urinary incontinence is leakage of urine from your urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Problems with urine control can range from occasional leakage to the complete inability to hold any urine.
da Vinci surgeons
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Obstetrics & Gynecology
Benefits for patients
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How it works
Today robotic surgery is dramatically reducing risks and improving the outcomes for surgical patients. Ask your doctor if robotic surgery might be an option for you.
During robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console a few feet from the patient and another member of the surgical staff stands at the operating table with four jointed robotic arms overhead. The surgeon makes several small incisions, and inserts a tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments through the openings.
The camera provides a detailed view on a color monitor, while the robotic arms work with great precision at the surgeon’s command. The surgeon controls every delicate movement of the micro-instruments at all times.
Using this advanced technology, surgeons can now handle a wider range of cases, and carry out even the most complex procedures with improved accuracy and very little damage to surrounding tissue.
Robotic-assisted heart surgery
Mercy Hospital physicians perform robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery
Chuck Barnes of Elk River wasn't going to let heart surgery get in the way of an October hunting trip. Less than two weeks after surgery to repair his mitral valve, Barnes was shooting antelope in Wyoming.
Mercy's first da Vinci-assisted surgery is cardiac
Cardiothoracic surgeons Jong Kim, MD and Brian Tell, MD, performed the first robotic procedure at Mercy Hospital on Friday, November 9. They used the robot to harvest an artery from the chest of Joseph Dehen of Anoka, Minn. Then, they used the artery to bypass a blockage in Dehen's heart in a minimally invasive procedure.