WCA’s robotics program celebrates one-year milestone

JAMESTOWN – WCA Hospital, the region’s leader in healthcare, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its robotics program. The only hospital in the Southern Tier to perform the newest advancements in minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery represents a third generation of advances in surgery – one which builds upon the advances of open surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

The new daVinci Surgical System at WCA takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand, introducing precise, versatile instrument movement combined with three-dimensional visualization of the operative site.

The team of credentialed robotic surgeons on staff at WCA Hospital, led by Dr. Timothy Brown, FACS, board-certified general surgeon chair of the robotics steering committee, includes Galo Grijalva, M.D., FACS, board certified surgeon; Matthew Chang, M.D., FACS, board-certified surgeon; Russell Lee, M.D., FACS, board certified surgeon; Ichabod Jung, M.D., FACS, board certified urologist; Ryan White, M.D., board certified urologist; and Robert Daniels, M.D., board certified OB/GYN physician.

“We are committed to remaining at the forefront of technological advancements,” said Betsy T. Wright, FACHE WCA Hospital President/CEO. “Robotic surgery is the dawn of a new generation of advanced minimally invasive surgery and we are humbled by the opportunity to be the first hospital in the Southern Tier to apply this groundbreaking technology that is redefining how surgery is performed across the nation. Our brand-new technology is not only the latest tool to assist our surgeons, but patients are able to receive the very latest surgical techniques and care locally without leaving the area.”

Able to perform highly complex procedures with unparalleled precision, the credentialed robotic surgeons have performed more than 200 cases since the program’s inception. Robotic surgery at WCA is currently used for gallbladder, uterus, colon, adrenal glands, kidney, appendix, spleen, anti-reflux surgery, ventral and inguinal hernias, and prostate surgery procedures.

During robotic surgery, the skilled surgeon operates from a console where he or she can watch a live three-dimensional video feed of the patient’s surgical site. Guiding the robotic arms with great care and skill, the surgeon uses miniaturized instruments to perform extremely precise surgery. The robotic system has the added benefit of compensating for even the slightest movement, providing great accuracy and less disruption to surrounding tissues than ever before.

Earlier this year, surgeons performed single incision gallbladder removal surgery. With the da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, a gallbladder is removed through a single small incision in the belly button similar to traditional single-port laparoscopy. The result is a virtually scarless surgery procedure.

Surgeries performed at WCA Hospital, including robotic surgery, provide all of the benefits that conventional laparoscopic surgery including smaller incisions, minimal scarring, and less operative discomfort. The daVinci robot brings the range of benefits to the next advanced level of surgery technology with the ability to perform highly complex reconstructive procedures with less pain, faster recovery times, and a quicker return to normal activities.

“Robotic surgery is not just the wave of the future,” says Dr. Timothy Brown who performed the first single incision robotic gallbladder surgery at WCA with one small incision through the belly button. “It is the future. With our new revolutionary surgical system, many of the operations we perform laparoscopically are now performed with our robot with even greater ease. The patient benefits are numerous including less post-operative discomfort, less scarring, and a quicker return to patients’ normal activities of life.”

The one year milestone was celebrated with a surprise cake for the hospital’s surgical team. The daVinci robot, given the name ART, was selected from a coloring contest that was held last year with area students. “I chose the name ART because WCA uses state-of-the-art technology to perform surgeries,” said Holland Isaacson, pupil at Lincoln Elementary School and winner of the coloring contest alongside Yavier O Santana, pupil at Love School. “ART stands for advanced robotics technology. I also read that this is a daVinci robot. Since Leonardo DaVinci is famous for art, this name seemed perfect. I love art, too!”

Listen to what patients are saying about robotic surgery. Go to www.wcahospital.org/roboticsurgery to access patient video testimonials and a list of credentialed surgeons on staff at WCA Hospital. To make an appointment for surgery, contact one of the surgeons listed on the hospital’s website.