Doctors are expected to diagnose more than 44,000 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. For CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System’s first patient to receive robotic-assisted surgery via our newest and second da Vinci system, the Xi, 44,000 was more than a statistic. The number delivered a stark reality when he heard his initial diagnosis.
This patient’s treatment required surgery to remove the diseased area of the rectum and reattachment of the healthy colon to the lower rectum. Fortunately, he was an appropriate candidate to receive surgery via the da Vinci Xi with surgeon Beth Peterson, M.D., at the helm.
“Utilizing the da Vinci Xi allows a patient to receive a less invasive technique with a few small incisions rather than conventional open surgery with a longer midline incision,” Dr. Peterson says. “Robotic-assisted surgery can result in a shorter hospital stay and recovery time, less narcotics for pain management and a more rapid return to normal activities.”
In addition to the benefits of the technology of the Xi such as extended reach, Dr. Peterson uses Firefly® fluorescence imaging, which enables visualization beyond the human eye by activating injected dye to light up.
“Firefly allowed me to evaluate blood supply to the colon before completing the surgery,” Dr. Peterson says. Eleven specially trained surgeons perform da Vinci procedures such as colon resection, hernia repair and foregut surgery as well as urologic, general laparoscopic, gynecologic, thoracic and some types of heart surgery at CHRISTUS St. Michael.
First Da Vinci Procedure
Gynecologist Stephen Brown, M.D., one of the initial area physicians to embrace robotic-assisted surgery, performed the first da Vinci procedure in Texarkana, a laparoscopic total hysterectomy, in 2010.
Since that first surgery, the 11 da Vinci-trained surgeons have collectively performed more than 3,565 da Vinci procedures, providing a wealth of experience for residents of the Texarkana region.
For more information about da Vinci surgeons in Texarkana, visit christusstmichael.org/davincisurgeons.