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Robotic Cardiac Procedures: January 16, 2011

The newest member of the operating team is certainly being put to work. “We’re probably doing one or two robotic cases a week,” says Dr. Paul DiGiorgi, a cardiothoracic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Surgeons like him are using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to perform various cardiac procedures. “It’s exciting because we’re able to do surgeries that we couldn’t do before with the robot.”

In fact, because of the robot’s smaller incisions, patients once considered at high risk for traditional surgery are now possible candidates for a robotic procedure. The robot has also changed the way Dr. DiGiorgi and his staff operate. “That’s probably been its biggest impact we see in the hospital is that all the other staff members have gotten really excited about the new technology, mainly because they are involved in it more than they ever have before.”

It’s this new involvement that’s having an impact on patient care. “My surgical part is just one small piece of it whereas we have the nurses doing a lot of things at the table themselves, along with our assistants and the anesthesiologists are doing things and profusion has changed a lot and it’s really been exciting for the whole team.

“Bypass surgeries and mitral valve repairs are performed regularly at HealthPark with the da Vinci robot. This minimally invasive surgery means less pain, less scarring, and faster recovery than traditional surgeries.