CHRISTUS St. Patrick: First in Region to Use Latest Robotic Surgical System

CHRISTUS St. Patrick is the first and only hospital in the Southwest Louisiana Region to offer robotic-assisted surgical procedures.

The daVinci Surgical System is a state-of-the-art robotic-system designed to provide patients with minimally invasive surgical options.  This cutting edge technology allows surgeons at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital to perform complex procedures-including prostate and gynecological surgery-using dime-sized incisions.  For most patients, this minimally invasive approach results in significantly less pain, less blood loss, shorter recovery periods and a quicker return to normal daily activities.

"Over the years, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital has led the way in providing innovative procedures using state-of-the-art technology," said Farjaad Siddiq, M.D., a local urologist who performed the region's first robotic-assisted surgical procedure. "This new system being introduced is an exciting enhancement to this quality surgery program."

Dr. Siddiq, Director of Robotic Surgery at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, is now using this innovative technology to perform one of the most common treatments for prostate cancer which involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, or radical prostatectomy.

Traditional radical prostatectomy requires an 8 to 10 inch incision and commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery, and the risk of impotence and incontinence.  By using the robotic-assisted surgical approach surgeons are now able to gain access to the internal anatomy through five to six small incisions.

Local gynecologist, Lee J. Monlezun, M.D. performed the region's first robotic-assisted hysterectomy at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital.  "With robotic-assisted capabilities I am now able to perform hysterectomies through tiny incisions, which results in less scarring and less trauma for my patients," said Dr. Monlezun.  "My patients experience shorter hospital stays with less post-operative pain, and they typically can return to their daily routine in one to two weeks rather than six."

In robotic-assisted surgery, very small incisions called "ports" are used to place mechanical surgical tools into the body.  These incisions are as small as the circumference of a pencil.  The surgeon sits at a console, looking into a three-dimensional viewfinder that magnifies the surgical field hundreds of times.  The surgeon performs the surgical procedure by using the controls on the console.  These movements are translated to the robot "hands" inserted into the ports.  The computer-controlled arms are engineered with wrists that rotate 360 degrees.  The robot hands follow every move the surgeon makes: cutting, clamping and sewing just as the surgeon would in an open incision several inches larger.

When the surgeon moves a hand or uses the foot pedal, the console sends a digital signal through a cable to the instrument cart, where a small motor moves the instruments.  Along with greater precision and dexterity, the daVinci system provides increased ability to perform repetitive motions such as suturing.

Robotics greatly enhances the surgeon's range of motion and eliminates any natural hand tremor.  Doctors can access and see parts of the body as never before-without large, open incisions.

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