Published on December 13, 2016

Mary Greeley Marks 2,000 Robot-Assisted Surgeries

AMES, IA – As of Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2,000 robot-assisted surgeries have been performed at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Mary Greeley reached this milestone when Dr. Greg Sachs, a McFarland Clinic general surgeon, completed a robot-assisted procedure to address a patient’s gastric reflux problem.

Mary Greeley launched its robot-assisted surgery program in June 2010 with the purchase of a da Vinci surgical robot. Since then, the program has grown in popularity with patients.

In 2011, 169 robot-assisted surgeries were performed at Mary Greeley. In 2015, 439 were done. More than 450 will be done in 2016.

Robot-assisted surgery is minimally invasive, and can result in less pain, less bleeding and quicker healing for patients. There are currently 11 surgeons at Mary Greeley who are trained in robot-assisted surgery.

The surgical robot is used for general surgery, including hernias and gallbladders; urological surgeries, such as prostatectomies; gynecological surgeries, including hysterectomies; and thoracic surgeries, including lung lobectomy procedures. Dr. James Partridge with McFarland Clinic was the first surgeon in Iowa to be trained in single-site general surgery with the da Vinci robot. McFarland’s Dr. Mark Taylor was the first surgeon in Iowa to be trained to use the surgical robot for thoracic surgeries. At present, Mary Greeley has the only robot-assisted thoracic surgery program in the state.

Most surgeries involve three or fewer small incisions through which instruments, including a camera, are inserted. After placing the instruments, the surgeon goes to a console in the operating room that provides 3D, hi-def images from inside the patient’s body. The surgeon uses controls on the console to operate the surgical instruments. The technology provides the surgeon a greater range of motion than is possible with the human hand. The surgeon is supported by specially trained surgical nurses.

Last year, Mary Greeley added its second da Vinci surgical robot. The hospital’s new da Vinci Xi system offers advanced equipment that provides greater range of motion, enhanced imaging and improved access to key areas of a patient’s body.

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