I can still recall my first operation in 1981. Though the nursing care I received was outstanding and the surgeon, nurses and support staff were so compassionate, skilled and caring, I remember feeling sick and queasy days after the surgery. I was hospitalized for two weeks and felt throbbing pain from the incision long after I returned home to recover. I didn't have much of an appetite; couldn't really eat or sleep and if I coughed, sneezed or moved too quickly, the pain was unbearable at times. Thankfully, I was feeling back to my same old self eight weeks after surgery.
As I underwent other surgeries years later, newer and more advanced surgical techniques and technology developments allowed surgeons to accomplish the same surgical results, but offered less scarring, shorter hospital stays, and a quicker return to daily life. Laparoscopic surgery or more commonly referred to, minimally invasive surgery, quickly replaced many conventional operations and significantly reduced post-operative pain and recovery time.
Today, WCA is proud to be the first hospital in the Southern Tier to offer patients robotic surgery -eliminating many of the physical limitations that I experienced from my first surgery. With the arrival of our new robotic technology, the daVinci Surgical System, our surgeons use a robotic-assisted platform to perform the most delicate and complex surgical procedures with greater precision. Dr. Timothy Brown, M.D., FACS, credentialed robotic surgeon and chair of the robotic surgical committee at WCA Hospital, explains that although every patient and every surgery is unique, robotic surgery offers many advantages for patients.
Toni DeAngelo, R.N.
"Robotic surgery is not just the wave of the future," said Dr. Brown, who performed the first single-incision robotic gallbladder surgery procedure at WCA with one small incision through the belly button. "It is the future. With our new surgical system, many of the operations we perform laparoscopically are now performed with our robot with even greater ease. The patient benefits are numerous including less post-operative discomfort, less scarring, and a quicker return to patients' normal activities in life. My colleagues use robotic surgery to treat conditions affecting the gallbladder, uterus, colon, adrenal glands, kidney, appendix, spleen, ventral and inguinal hernias, anti-reflux surgery and prostate surgery procedures. During robotic surgery, the surgeon operates the robot from a console where he or she watches a live three-dimensional video feed of the patient's surgical site. Guiding the robotic arms with great care and skill, the surgeon uses miniaturized instruments to perform extremely precise surgery. The robotic system has the added benefit of compensating for even the slightest movement, providing great accuracy and less disruption to surrounding tissues than ever before."
As the inspirational and famous quote says, "you've come a long way baby," so has surgical advances from my very first surgery experience in 1981. As a health care professional and community resident, I am grateful that our hospital offers the very latest in surgery developments so we do not have to travel outside our hometown. Rather, we can be surrounded by our family, friends and neighbors which allows us to get back to the things we enjoy in life quickly.
Listen to what our patients are saying about robotic surgery. Go to www.wcahospital.org/roboticsurgery to access patient video testimonials and a list of credentialed surgeons on staff at WCA Hospital.
Our intention is prevention. Keep aspiring for your goals and stay well!
Toni DeAngelo, R.N., community health and wellness director at WCA Hospital, is a certified tobacco cessation specialist and patient navigator with more than 30 years of experience in critical care nursing and community health. For more about adopting a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Toni at Toni.Deangelo@wcahospital.org or call WCA Hospital Wellness at 664-8677. To learn more about WCA, visit www.wcahospital.org
We invite our readers to submit a question or health topic of interest for WCA Health Talk by visiting the WCA Hospital website at www.wcahospital.org and clicking the Contact Us button at the top, right-hand side of the home page to submit your questions, comments or suggestions.
This health column in no way seeks to serve as a substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guideline.