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Robotic-Assisted Surgery Offers Patients
Quicker Recovery, Less Pain

Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is excited to be the first in Northwest Houston to offer robotic-assisted surgery. da Vinci® is the first FDA-approved robotic-assisted surgical system, and it's changing the way surgery is done. Patients recover more quickly and with less pain than they would with conventional open surgery.

Robotic-assisted surgery, utilizing the da Vinci Surgical System, offers patients a surgical choice with benefits, including less blood loss, a shorter stay in the hospital, less recovery time at home and less scarring. The bottom line is you can return to your normal activities, work and family life sooner.

Helping You Recover Faster

Robotic-assisted surgery offers patients many benefits:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to normal daily activities

Improving Patient Outcomes
David A. Leslie, RN, BSN, MBA, Director of Perioperative Services at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, explains that robotic-assisted surgery is used to get the best possible results for a variety of medical procedures (see below). "Treatment is tailored for each patient – to what would be in the patient's best interest," Leslie says. "There are benefits to robots, just as there are benefits to regular laparoscopy and conventional open surgery. When robotics is chosen for a procedure, it's a matter of doing the same surgery with more precision and less trauma to the tissues.

"da Vinci allows surgeons to go beyond the limitations of human hands and eyes to get the best results for patients," says Todd A. Worley, MD. "It allows for more precise surgery by reducing involuntary tremors of the human hand. That gives the surgeon finer control. It's like having miniaturized hands, working on a very specific area. It also allows the surgeon to see with 3-D, high-definition vision, improving depth perception."

Smaller Incisions Equal Shorter Recovery Times
For example, in the recent past, any patient who needed a radical prostatectomy faced an open surgical procedure that required a large incision. With robotic-assisted surgery, recovery is much shorter because it doesn't require large incisions.

"Open surgical procedures typically need at least a two-day hospital stay and about four to six weeks of recovery," Dr. Worley explains. "da Vinci can cut recovery time in half – as little as two weeks or less to return to work – and for many procedures patients go home the next day."

Although incisions for open surgery vary greatly, da Vinci requires only tiny incisions. "The incisions are all relatively small, which means there will be much less pain," Dr. Worley says.

But even though da Vinci reduces complications compared to open surgery, it's not always the first line of treatment. "We never want to jump into any type of surgery," says Leslie. "But if surgery is required, with da Vinci, patients will have a better experience than they would have had previously."

To Learn More
Robotic surgery has changed the way physicians perform procedures. For more information or for a referral to a physician at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital trained in robotic surgery, call 281-737-2500.

The da Vinci® Si HD Surgical System

Methodist Willowbrook Hospital uses the da Vinci Si (streamed integration) HD Surgical System, which is the most recent, advanced robotics system featuring enhanced high-definition 3-D vision.

The da Vinci Surgical System has three parts. The first part, the Surgeon Console, is where the surgeon sits, viewing magnified, 3-D, real-time video and using his fingers and feet to control tiny operating instruments inside the patient. da Vinci mirrors the surgeon's motions and scales them, allowing the most precise movements.

The second part is called the Patient Sidecart. Four robotic arms hold the operating instrument arms and an endoscope, or a lighted camera. The third part is called the Vision Cart, which provides the 3-D imaging to the endoscope.



Robotic Surgery Procedures

The list of robotic-assisted procedures offered at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is growing, making more complex surgeries less challenging. "We're excited about the numerous applications for the da Vinci system," Dr. Worley says. "More patients will be able to have the surgery they need and then heal faster with less time off work."

Robotic-assisted gynecological procedures include:

  • Endometriosis treatment – removal of endometrial tissue
  • Hysterectomy – removal of the uterus
  • Myomectomy – removal of uterine fibroids that can prevent pregnancy
  • Oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries.
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries
  • Suspension for female stress incontinence
  • Tubal reanastomosis – reversal of permanent birth control.

Robotic-assisted urological and general surgeries available:

  • Anti-reflux surgery – surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Bariatric surgery – a minimally invasive option for gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy
  • Colorectal surgery – removal of cancer from the colon
  • Cystectomy – removal of cancer from the bladder
  • Hernia surgery – treatment of abdominal wall hernias
  • Nephrectomy – partial or complete removal of a kidney
  • Prostatectomy – removal of the prostate gland
  • Pyeloplasty – removal of blockages to the ureter