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Back on the road with robot-assisted surgery

John Russick, of Shamong NJ, is on the road thanks to robot-assisted surgery.

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John Russick is a man on the move: As a business owner, husband and father, he didn’t have time to be sick. So when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he wanted to get treated and get back to his regular schedule as soon as possible. With robot-assisted surgery at Virtua Memorial, that’s exactly what happened.

“The day after my surgery, I felt great,” says Russick. “Two weeks later, I was back to business and life.”

Like Russick, men who need their prostate removed to treat prostate cancer can benefit from robot-assisted surgery. Douglas Berkman, MD, a Virtua urologist who is fellowship trained in robot-assisted surgery, explains: “Robot-assisted surgery is the most advanced and precise minimally invasive surgical method to date.”

Because of its precision, surgeons are able to preserve nerves associated with sexual arousal and decrease the likelihood of incontinence. And because the surgery is minimally invasive, there’s significantly less blood loss. Patients go home faster, have less pain and return to regular activities much sooner.

“With all the benefits of robot-assisted surgery, this treatment option just made the most sense for me,” says Russick.

Robotics: a revolutionary way to treat colon and rectal cancer too
Virtua colorectal surgeon Keith Meslin, MD, is specially trained to perform robot-assisted surgery. He describes the difference it can make.

“Previously, when a surgeon operated on the lower rectum, the surgery required a large abdominal incision. With robotic-assistance, this same surgery is now performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen,” says Dr. Meslin. That means a big difference in how fast someone heals and recovers.

“Virtua is pushing the technology and clinical envelope for how we surgically treat cancer, and improving it all the time,” says Dr. Meslin. “South Jersey residents can receive stateof- the-art services right here in their own community.”