Wuesthoff Health System Brings Robotic Surgery Technology to Brevard

Physicians at Wuesthoff Medical Center – Rockledge perform the first minimally invasive procedures in the area using a robotic surgical system which provides them with enhanced anatomical access and crystal clear 3-D HD vision

Rockledge, Florida (November 17, 2015) –In an effort to provide the Brevard community with access to various care and treatment options, Wuesthoff Health System now features robotic surgery technology. Physicians at Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge are now performing minimally invasive procedures using a robotic surgical system. This robotic surgical system is the only one of its kind on the Space Coast.

Robotic surgery technologies and systems provide options for a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures.They are designed to provide surgeons with enhanced capabilities, including high-definition 3-D vision and a magnified view. Typical procedures performed using these technologies include surgery for complex diseases and conditions in gynecology, urology, thoracic and general surgery.

David Sims, MD,FACS, FCCP, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon; H. Drexel Dobson, III, MD, FACS, board-certified surgeon with Surgical Associates of Brevard; and Paul Thompson, MD, FACS, board-certified surgeon with Surgical Associates of Brevard were among the first physicians to perform surgical procedures with the robotic surgery platform.

This robotic surgical system provides a number of advantages over its predecessor.

“It provides the surgeon with better visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort,” said Dr. Sims who recently performed a successful lobectomy (removal of a lobe of the lung as a result of the detection of an abnormality) using the system. “It makes it possible for skilled surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex dissection or reconstruction.”

Robotic surgery systems are designed to enhance surgical performance by becoming a natural extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands—while providing for the least invasive option for surgery. Wuesthoff’s newest robotic surgery platform is optimized for complex four-quadrant surgery featuring enhanced anatomical access, 3D HD vision and a platform designed to seamlessly integrate future innovations.

“It provides the surgeon with the ability to operate in several areas of the body with a greater reach than the previous system during a single operation without needing to remove instruments and reposition the platform,” said Dr. Dobson, who recently successfully performed the repair of a large paraesophageal hernia in a 92 year old male patient. Over 75 percent of the patient’s stomach was stuck behind his heart, and he was able to walk out the door and go home in less than 72 hours with the ability to swallow without chest pain for the first time in years. “The operation was made infinitely easier with the advantages of the new robotic system,” explained Dr. Dobson.

Dr. Thompson performed the first colon procedure using Wuesthoff’s newest robotic system. He successfully performed a partial colon resection with the reconnection being performed inside the abdominal cavity using a robotic controlled stapling device.

“Thanks to this new robotic platform, the patient was able to go home after only three days, which is clearly an improvement on the typical postoperative length of stay for this type of procedure,” said Dr. Thompson. “This is an outstanding robotic surgery platform that is now widely available at our hospital.”

Other key features of Wuesthoff’s new robotic system include:

  • A new overhead instrument arm architecture designed to facilitate anatomical access from virtually any position.
  • A new endoscope digital architecture that creates a simpler, more compact design with improved visual definition and clarity.
  • An ability to attach the endoscope to any arm, providing flexibility for visualizing the surgical site.
  • Smaller, thinner arms with newly designed joints that offer a greater range of motion than ever before.
  • Longer instrument shafts designed to give surgeons greater operative reach.
  • An advanced energy source and platform for cutting, sealing, and cauterizing tissue.
  • An advanced laser visualization system that can view special fluorescent dyes to help identify normal anatomy or abnormal tissue.

The system consists of an ergonomic surgeon console, a patient-side cart with up to four interactive arms, a high-performance vision system and advanced instrumentation. Powered by advaanced technology, the system is designed to scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon's hand movements into more precise movements of the instruments. The net result is an intuitive interface with advanced surgical capabilities.

“Healthcare technologies and protocols such as robotic surgery, telemedicine and cancer treatment modalities continue to advance and evolve,” said Gary Malaer, chief executive officer, Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge. “We’re committed to exploring these advancements and providing our community with the most appropriate technologies and care opportunities available.”

The mission of Wuesthoff Health System: Everyone doing everything to pursue the perfect patient experience. Wuesthoff Health System includes Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge and Wuesthoff Medical Center–Melbourne, both full acute care hospitals and Wuesthoff Health Services, a network of affiliates providing hospice, home care, home medical equipment, and assisted living services.

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