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Crouse Robotics Program Marks 5 Years of Innovation/Growth


Robot 5Year SealAugust 18 marked the fifth anniversary of the start up of Crouse Hospital’s robotic surgery program.


The first procedures at Crouse using the minimally invasive da Vinci technology were GYN oncology cases performed by Dr. Mary Cunningham and her partner Dr. Douglas Bunn, who had been using the robot at another local hospital. Both are pioneers and the regional leaders in this type of surgery.


The addition in 2010 of nationally recognized urologic surgeon Dr. David Albala from Duke University Medical Center further solidified Crouse’s growing leadership in robotic surgery in Central New York (Dr. Albala was recently named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Robotic Surgery).


In just five short years – thanks to incredible teamwork, passion and a dedicated commitment patient care excellence – Crouse’s program has grown to be the largest multispecialty robotics program in the area, with more than 600 urology, colorectal, GYN oncology, gynecology and general surgical procedures performed last year alone in the hospital's Witting Surgical Center.


"This is a significant accomplishment – especially considering the fact that Crouse was the last Syracuse hospital to acquire the da Vinci technology," says Crouse Chief Medical Officer Ron Stahl, MD.


Today, it’s not an overstatement to say that Crouse Hospital is the regional leader in minimally invasive robotic surgery. Last year the hospital was selected as a national training site for colorectal robotic surgery – one of just seven in the country. Every month, colorectal surgeons from hospitals and health systems across the U.S. come to Crouse to learn how to use the technology from Dr. John Nicholson and partner Dr. David Nesbitt.


Other hospitals considering starting a robotic surgery program routinely make site visits to Crouse to learn from the Crouse team what it takes to set up and grow a successful program. More recently, at the skilled hands of Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Crouse became the first local hospital to offer single-incision robotic surgery for gallbladder removal – a great alternative to traditional laparoscopy. Other positive impacts of the program on patients include reduced length of stay; quicker return to normal activities; less scarring.


So, if you happen to run into one of our robotic surgeons or any member of our first-class robotics team, congratulate them on work well done and thank them for helping to establish Crouse Hospital as a regional center of excellence in robotic surgery.


For more information about the Crouse Institute for Robotic Surgery visit


Cheryl Abrams
Crouse Hospital
Communications Department
Phone: 315/470-7123
Fax: 315/470-7232

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