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lunes, 28 de noviembre de 2011

El hospital pasa hito de 1.000 cirugías robóticas/Hospital passes milestone of 1,000 robotic surgeries


27/11/2011



Through training, experience and more patients opting for minimally invasive surgeries, Jackson's publicly owned hospital celebrated a medical milestone last month. Jackson-Madison County General Hospital announced that surgeons have completed more than 1,000 robotic surgeries using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical system.

The hospital purchased its first surgical robot in January 2009 and the second unit in the summer of 2010. In October, the hospital upgraded to the latest version of robotic technology, called the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci Si, said Dr. Chris Welsch, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Jackson Clinic.

Having this kind of technology in Jackson is impressive, Welsch said.

"There are several facilities in Tennessee that offer robotic-assisted surgery, but General Hospital is the only one in West Tennessee outside of Memphis," he said. "The robotic program is very prolific for a hospital like ours."

Patients are coming from surrounding areas and other states to have their surgeries performed in Jackson. Some of the procedures done by local surgeons are establishing them as national pioneers in their fields, Welsch said.

"It reflects well on hospital administration that they had the wisdom to invest in technology like this at the stage they did. Without it, we would have been unable to build the robust robotic program that we currently are able to offer the patients of West Tennessee," he said.

During the procedure, a surgeon sits at a console looking at a 3-D high-definition screen, which shows the operation site inside the patient. Using controls on the console, the surgeon directs the surgical instruments within the patient. The robotic surgical instruments are very small and precise, allowing performance of delicate procedures in a small area and resulting in little disturbance to surrounding tissue.

"The da Vinci allows a surgeon to move instruments inside a patient just like the natural movement of the human hand, but through tiny holes in the skin, rather than a large abdominal incision," Welsch said. "Because of the high-definition 3-D camera imagery and greater precision, a surgery can be performed with fewer complications and less blood loss. The minimally invasive approach allows patients to get back to normal activities faster."

Smaller incisions mean patients can spend less time in the hospital, Welsch said.

With greater experience from their doctors, patients can be comfortable they are receiving the best in surgical care, he said. Jackson General offers robotic assisted surgery for more than two dozen procedures, including hysterectomies, prostatectomies, colon resections, gall bladder removals, hernia repairs and more.

Welsch said the hospital started offering robotic surgeries in February 2009. The first surgeons to use the system were gynecologists, followed closely by urologists and then general surgeons. Cardiothoracic surgeons — those who specialize in heart and lung surgeries — soon will be able to perform procedures with this system as well, Welsch said.

Alamo resident Craig Spellings, 65, looked at all of his options after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He talked with his doctors about laproscopic cancer removal and talked to a friend who had the same procedure.

"My doctors said the same thing my friend said," he said. "He had two friends — one in radiation and one in chemo — and they didn't do very well. That was exactly the reason why I went with it."

The surgery was less invasive, and Spellings had the catheter removed after a week. He went home after one night in the hospital, Spellings said.

In the post-operation pathology report, Spellings' doctor said his cancer was gone. But Spellings was sent to the emergency room after he mentioned a couple of episodes of illness that occurred after the surgery. Less than 10 days after his prostate surgery, Spellings had a second robotic surgery to remove his gall bladder.

"I didn't have any more rehab time or recovery time than the first one," he said. "My wife is a nurse, and she couldn't believe how well I did. I went home the next day, just like the first one. I was up and about the next day. After a month, I could start lifting things. I never slowed down; I did what I normally do. For what I had and what I went through, I can't say anything but good things about robotic surgery."

Vanessa Hartsuff, 30, had a partial hysterectomy last August. The Dyer resident said the operation was "heaven-sent" and made life a little better. She had a follow-up procedure in mid-November.

Hartsuff, a Jehovah's Witness, said Welsch asked her about any medical concerns related to her beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which is considered a violation of God's law.

"I told him I wouldn't take blood, and he said the robotic surgery would prevent the need for a transfusion because of less risk for a problem that would require a transfusion," she said. "That made me feel better about it."

Welsch said there has been little hesitation from his patients once he explains the benefits of robotic surgery. For gynecology in particular, reviewing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on alternate ways of performing women's surgery clearly shows the benefits to patients of using the da Vinci.

"I've had no problem with people being reticent. They talk to their friends about it, read things about it and do research on the Internet," he said. "The key thing to me is that for the patients of our region, it's fantastic that we can offer this service with expertise. They don't have to travel elsewhere. As a surgeon, it's a real privilege to provide something to patients so they can have a safer procedure and a much more rapid recovery."

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