Crouse Hospital has been designated a colorectal robotic Epicenter by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robotic surgical system. As an official Epicenter training site, colorectal surgeons from across the nation will visit Crouse Hospital monthly to observe and learn from colorectal surgeons John Nicholson, MD, and David Nesbitt, MD, who use the da Vinci technology for colon and rectal surgery. Both are partners in Colon-Rectal Associates of CNY.
Crouse Hospital performs the largest number of robotic procedures in Syracuse. The hospital’s multispecialty robotics program includes colorectal, urology, GYN/oncology and general surgical procedures using the minimally invasive da Vinci technology. Crouse, which has two da Vinci surgical systems, is one of just a few colorectal Epicenters in the U.S. and the only designated center in New York State.
“Intuitive is selective about choosing a robotic surgery program to serve as an Epicenter teaching site for colorectal surgery,” says Ron Stahl, MD, chief medical officer for Crouse Hospital. “Crouse’s program, and in particular our colorectal surgeons, are leaders in their field in terms of experience, overall volume and quality outcomes.”
During a robotic colectomy, surgeons remove cancerous portions of the colon and rectum, as well as benign tumors and polyps. A robot-assisted approach provides surgeons with the tools to more easily connect the two ends of the colon after the cancer has been removed. The procedure can be completed with a few tiny incisions, rather than the one long incision used in traditional open colon surgery.
Robotic surgery can allow surgeons to perform complex rectal cancer surgery, which had been extremely challenging to do in a minimally invasive manner. The robot provides the surgeon with enhanced visualization of the surgical site through 3D magnification, enhanced dexterity for manipulation and dissection of tissue and greater precision.
Benefits to the patient can include reduced pain and trauma to the body, less blood loss, less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay, less scarring and faster recovery and return to work, according to Drs. Nicholson and Nesbitt.
The Epicenter observation experience for surgeons wanting to learn robotic techniques lasts all day. Visiting surgeons will be in the operating room with Drs. Nicholson and Nesbitt and observe procedures from start to finish.
Pictured: Colorectal surgeons David Nesbitt, MD (left) and John Nicholson, MD, are joined by Crouse da Vinci surgical program team leader Lisa Miller, RN, in OR 4 of the hospital's Witting Surgical Center.