To learn more about NCH's advanced robotic surgical program and view patient stories, click here.
Imagine that your physician says you have to undergo surgery. Perhaps a hysterectomy. Or prostate surgery. In the past with conventional surgery, this would have meant considerable time in the operating room under anesthesia, a Hospital stay lasting several days—and a long, possibly painful recovery.
But that's all changed, thanks to the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System. This leading-edge medical technology enables skilled, board-certified surgeons at Northwest Community Hospital to do what they do best—but even better. With their expert hands guiding the robot, surgeons are able to perform delicate and complex operations through very small incisions—while also gaining enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
Indeed, the patient benefits are numerous, says Meaghan Reshoft, executive director of Surgical Services at NCH. "Procedures using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System are minimally invasive," she says. "So, in addition to reducing surgery times, incisions are smaller, patients typically experience less pain and reduced blood loss, and they heal faster with fewer complications."
At a time when other area hospitals and medical establishments are just beginning to delve into this important new world of robot-assisted surgery, NCH surgeons have mastered it. The hospital acquired its first da Vinci Robotic Surgical System in 2006 and recently upgraded to the next-generation da Vinci Si.
But make no mistake: The robotic technology is not performing surgery at NCH; it is a tool guided by an expert surgeon. Instead of standing over a patient, the surgeon sits at an ergonomically enhanced console, where he or she commands a control that maneuvers a robotic arm. Equipped with state-of-the-art surgical instruments, the highly responsive arm translates the surgeon's hand motions, performing an increasingly wide variety of procedures with great precision. Aiding in the positive outcomes, a 3-D high-resolution display and 10x magnification provide the surgeon with unmatched visual clarity.
According to Reshoft, the majority of procedures performed with the da Vinci Si Robotic System treat prostate cancer and gynecological conditions such a endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine bleeding and gynecological cancers. "But the exacting nature of the technology is enabling us to expand the breadth of offerings," she says. NCH surgeons now use the da Vinci system to perform kidney, colorectal and complex gynecological procedures. It is the best surgical option for men with prostate cancer, for example. "Because the technology is so delicate (it is considered 'nerve-sparing'), there is a better chance that the patient's sexual and urinary functions will be preserved," Reshoft says.
The investment in the next-generation system highlights NCH's commitment to providing the best healthcare close to home. But it's not just about technology. "It's about providing our patients with more options," Reshoft explains. "With physician involvement, we've been able to create a solid program and a strong clinical team." In fact, some of the surgeons on NCH's medical staff are training other surgeons.
The result? "With so many advantages for our patients and positive feedback from our surgeons, it means patients can expect a great overall experience," Reshoft says.
To find an NCH surgeon trained in robot-assisted surgery, click here.