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St. Mary Surgeons Now Perform Robotic Surgery
With addition of surgical system, hospital offers new advance in minimally invasive surgery.

LANGHORNE, Pa., May 11, 2010 – St. Mary Medical Center today announced the arrival of the latest generation da Vinci Si HD® Surgical System. With the addition of the most advanced version of this high-tech robotic unit, St. Mary will expand its minimally invasive surgical program and allow surgeons to perform more complex procedures.

The da Vinci Si HD Surgical System integrates 3D high-definition 1080i endoscopy and state-of-the-art robotic technology to virtually extend the surgeon’s eyes and hands into the surgical field. St. Mary is among the first hospitals in the region to offer procedures with the da Vinci Si HD System. The system offers unparalleled visualization, with panoramic and digital zoom viewing options providing surgeons greater than twice the viewing resolution and 20 percent more viewing area.

“This is the newest generation of the da Vinci System, and I am very pleased with the improved capabilities of this system,” says surgeon David Warshal, MD, who specializes in Gynecological Oncology. “The field of vision is greater, and the resolution is better, allowing for finer dissection. There also is a better interface with the patient. There is a lot of enthusiasm at St. Mary about this new technology.”

According to Warshal, the da Vinci System will be useful in surgeries, including hysterectomies and staging for treating cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancers, as well as for the removal of fibroids and other tumors. Minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer is among other procedures that will be performed at St. Mary as surgeons expand upon the capabilities of the new system.

The da Vinci Surgical System consists of an ergonomically designed surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, the high-performance InSite® Vision System, and proprietary EndoWrist® Instruments. Powered by highly sophisticated robotic technology, the surgeon’s hand movements are scaled, filtered, and seamlessly translated into precise, real-time movements of the EndoWrist instruments.

Dr. Stephanie Molden, a specialist in Urogynecology and medical director for The Female Pelvic Health Center on the St. Mary campus, says that the wrist instrumentation of the da Vinci robotic system offers precise control. “The flexibility and camera view of the robotic unit have advantages over open surgery and even laparoscopic surgery while still offering the patient benefit of less pain and scarring,” Molden says. Pelvic reconstruction to treat prolapse (pelvic organs that slip out of place) and incontinence are among procedures she found easily adaptable from traditional open surgery.

Molden performed the first procedure using the new robotic system at St. Mary on April 27, 2010. “I did a hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy robotically (for prolapse) and then a sling procedure to treat stress urinary incontinence.  It went very well and the patient was discharged the next day and didn’t even take a Tylenol afterward – stating that she had ‘no pain,’” Molden says.

By enhancing minimally invasive surgical capabilities, the da Vinci Surgical System helps to improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care. Patients typically benefit from reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss, less post-operative pain, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and return to daily activities, and less scarring.

Although the minimally invasive surgery program at St. Mary is being expanded, not all patients are candidates for this approach. Decisions about the best surgical procedure are based on each patient’s medical needs.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be the first team in the Bucks County region to operate with the da Vinci Si model,” Molden says. “We’ve only started to explore all the capabilities of this system.”

MEDIA: To learn more about the da Vinci robotic surgery program at St. Mary Medical Center or to request an interview with a surgeon, please call Kathleen Smith at 215.710.2090 or e-mail