Patient Stories and Media
MORRIS COUNTY SURGEONS PERFORM ROBOTIC
SURGERY ON MONTVILLE MAN
NEWARK, NJ – Montville resident Hoi Lui admits he felt skeptical when
his urologist first suggested he undergo a new, robotic-assisted surgery to
treat his prostate cancer. “In the beginning I had mixed feelings. I was
surprised and curious when my doctor brought it up,” he said.
Knowing little about the subject, Mr. Lui, 68, did some research on his own
and was impressed by what he learned: that this new robotic procedure, which
dramatically reduces the patient’s pain, scarring, blood loss and recovery
time, was fast becoming a preferred alternative to the traditional “open”
operation to remove the prostate.
Urologist Domenico Savatta, MD of Florham Park, who performs the procedure known as da Vinci Prostatectomy, talked to Mr. Lui about the operation and put him in contact with several of his patients who had already undergone the surgery. After hearing the men describe their excellent results, Mr. Lui made the decision to try the new procedure. His 3-hour operation took place on April 5 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and within a day and a half he was back at home with nothing more than a couple of band-aids to cover the scars.
“The robotic procedure is better for the patient than an open operation
in every way,” said Dr. Savatta. “We expected our patients to have
much quicker recoveries and minimal blood loss, but the most amazing part of
the recovery is seeing how quick they regain control of their urine and are
able to get erections. The da Vinci system essentially allows you to perform
microscopic surgery on the prostate.” Men who have undergone the robotic
procedure are able to return to work within 1-2 weeks of the operation, and
their blood loss during the procedure is so minimal that they are no longer
asked to donate their own blood pre-operatively, as patients undergoing the
open operation are asked to do.
Dr. Galdieri, who has been performing the open prostatectomy for 20 years,
said the use of robotics is changing medicine. “We have yet to transfuse
any of our robotic patients. This is a very exciting option for men with prostate
cancer. Patients of mine that feared surgery and would opt for radiation treatment
are now choosing surgery more often.”
The FDA-approved daVinci Surgical System gives surgeons the control, range
of motion and 3-D visualization that is characteristic of open surgery. Robotic-assisted
surgery incorporates techniques that allow the surgeon to operate through several
small incisions about the size of a dime. The daVinci system consists of a surgeon’s
console, a patient-side cart, a high performance 3-D vision system and EndoWrist
articulating instruments. In the operating room, the surgeon sits at the console
with his hands on the master controls and his eyes on a 3-D image of the surgical
field. From the patient-side cart, four robotic arms and one endoscope arm precisely
translate the surgeon’s movements through small incisions in the patient.
Surgeons at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center have been using the daVinci Surgical
System since the winter of 2003, when the medical center’s cardiothoracic
surgery team, under the direction of Craig Saunders, MD, began using it to perform
procedures including mitral valve repair and “beating heart” coronary
artery bypass graft surgery. Since then, Newark Beth Israel pediatric urologist
Jeffrey Stock, MD, became the first physician in the state to use the daVinci
system to perform robotic surgery on pediatric patients, in this case pyeloplasty,
a procedure to repair a blockage in the kidney. Dr. Stock has since added other
robotic procedures to the list of options he offers his patients.
To locate a physician who performs robotic surgery at Newark Beth Israel Medical
Center, please call 1-800-THE-BETH.
Source: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
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