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Robot-assisted surgery for many

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On Labor Day, Arlene Archie planned to enjoy a cookout with friends. What she didn’t plan on was getting her period. And for good reason; she hadn’t had her period in more than 20 years.

Alarmed, Arlene called her doctor. After extensive testing, it was confirmed: Arlene had uterine cancer and needed a hysterectomy.

“I knew I needed surgery; however I was concerned about the conventional invasive procedure and possible complications during a lengthy healing process,” says Arlene.

So Arlene and Randolph Deger, MD, a Virtua board-certified gynecologic oncologist, discussed robot-assisted surgery, a minimally invasive option that requires only four to five tiny incisions in the belly. “Hearing about this option, I felt so much better about having a hysterectomy.”

During the surgery, Dr. Deger uses hand controls to guide the robotic arms through the surgery. The robot enhances the physician’s vision, precision, dexterity and control.

“With robot-assisted surgery, patients benefit from smaller incisions, quicker recovery time and less post-operative complications,” explains Dr. Deger.

Arlene saw this first hand. “After the surgery, I felt great,” says Arlene. “I hardly had any pain and was back on my feet and back to my life quickly.”

Not just for women
Surgeons from multiple specialties are using the robot. Keith Meslin, MD, a Virtua surgeon, board certified in colon and rectal surgery and general surgery, also uses the robot to remove colorectal cancer.

“The robot is very beneficial when you are performing surgery in the pelvic region,” says Dr. Meslin.

“The instruments in traditional minimally invasive surgery look like chopsticks. With the robot, the instruments are still chopstick-like, but they have wrists at the end that can maneuver 360 degrees,” explains Dr. Meslin. “This increased dexterity lets me offer a minimally invasive option to patients who otherwise might have required an open
surgery. For patients, this means less pain, less scarring and a shorter recovery time.”

Physicians at Virtua Memorial and Voorhees use robotic-assisted surgery to treat urologic, thoracic, gynecologic and gynecologic cancer conditions, as well as colorectal problems, colorectal cancer and ear, nose and throat conditions.

For more information or an appointment, call 1-855-VIRTUA-8 (1-855-847-8828).