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Robotic surgery program expands options at Augusta Health

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With the acquisition of a da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system, Augusta Health has begun offering robotic surgery as an option to qualifying patients.  This new option provides patients with a leading technology that has benefits over traditional surgery.  The robot is a da Vinci Xi Surgical System.  Augusta Health is the first hospital in the area to acquire this most advanced da Vinci robotic technology on the market.

Because the incisions are smaller and more precise, the patient benefits include few complications like infections, reduced pain and discomfort, minimal scarring, reduced blood loss, and shorter hospital stays with faster recovery time and return to normal activities.

The following specialties have begun robotic-assisted surgeries: urology, gynecology, colorectal and thoracic. Because of the robot’s tiny “fingers” it is easier for surgeons to operate in small areas, such as the pelvic region.

Augusta Health surgeons who are qualified on the robotic system are:

  • Brian Stisser, MD, urologist, Blue Ridge Urological
  • Jack Coiner, DO, gynecologist, Ob-Gyn Associates Women’s Health at the Women’s Center
  • Margaret Flather, MD, gynecologist, Medical Center Women’s Health
  • Ami Keatts, MD, gynecologist, Augusta Health Care for Women
  • Kristin Turza, MD, colorectal and general surgery, Augusta Surgery

From Richard Embrey, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Augusta Health:
“Robotic surgery has been around for almost 20 years, so why now?  We waited until this option became the best option for a good number of our patients.  It’s an option that allows those patients to receive the best possible care right here, without need to travel for that care.  The technology has evolved and the knowledge and experience surrounding the robot have progressed to the point where it offers real benefit to many patients and can be an improvement over conventional surgery in some situations.  The time is right to bring this technology to Augusta Health for the benefit of our patients.”

From Brian Stisser, MD, urologist with Blue Ridge Urological PC in Fishersville:
“(The availability of robotic surgery) becomes especially poignant when you hear it from the patients themselves. They are so surprised and happy when they are able to return to their regular lives – whether it be to family, work or leisure – in a timetable that is much shorter than they saw with relatives or friends who were treated in more traditional ways. Not only is their personal time returned to them, but often they will recover their normal functions more rapidly and completely without the unfortunate consequence of unsightly scars. Like most tools, it is imperative that the surgical robot is used by the right person in the right setting. Fortunately, most patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgery in the hands of an experienced surgeon. This can apply to all ages and body shapes and certainly both males and females.”


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