Robotic surgery leads to quick recovery at a south suburban hospital

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High precision: Franciscan St. James Health, with locations in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, recently acquired the da Vinci Surgical System, which offers a level of enhanced detail and precision allowing complex surgeries to be performed through tiny incisions. | Supplied photo


An exciting new technological dimension has been added to the surgical options available at Franciscan St. James Health. With the acquisition of the da Vinci Surgical System, St. James now offers highly precise, robotic surgery.

Prior to da Vinci, many conditions required traditional surgery, which accessed the area via large incisions and laparoscopy, which uses small incisions but is limited to simple procedures. Uniting the best of both worlds, the da Vinci System provides an unprecedented level of enhanced detail and precision that allows complex surgeries to be performed through tiny incisions.

Dr. Kendal Freeman, board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, has already performed several robotic surgeries at Franciscan St. James since the equipment was acquired.

“The da Vinci allows a very close, 3D view of the anatomy so surgeons can easily see what they are working with,” Dr. Freeman said. “What’s more, we can do things like take down adhesions and scar tissue without injuring adjacent structures.”

The open surgical environment simulated by the da Vinci System allows the surgeon to operate through tiny incisions. Instruments inside the patient precisely respond to the surgeon’s hand movements. By contrast, conventional laparoscopy requires the surgeon to operate from a standing position using hand-held, stiff, long-shafted instruments. He or she must look up and away from the instruments to view the operation on the nearby 2D monitor.

The ergonomics and articulation of instruments is far superior to laparoscopic “straight stick” surgeries. Surgeons are able to sit and do these cases much more easily, as well as perform much more complex cases.

This less-invasive approach affords patients who require major surgery the potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure with less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions.

Additional benefits may also include a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and faster return to normal activities.

“With a standard surgical approach to hysterectomy, patients spend three days in the hospital,” Dr. Freeman said. “When performed with the da Vinci, that same patient can routinely go home within 18 to 24 hours.”

The da Vinci Surgical System has been used in surgeries to treat many conditions, including bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, coronary artery disease, endomitriosis, gynecological cancer, heavy uterine bleeding, kidney disorder, kidney cancer, mitral valve prolapse, obesity, prostate cancer, throat cancer and uterine fibroids/prolapse.

Provided by Franciscan St. James Health