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New robotic technology offers alternatives to invasive surgery

Published: Friday, September 25, 2009

Updated: Friday, September 25, 2009 00:09

Cabell Huntington Hospital is offering a new state-of-the-art robotic surgery for women.

The Da Vinci Surgical System is offering patients hysterectomies without an open surgery.

Dr. Brenda Dawley, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine surgeon and gynecologist, said using a minimally invasive surgery versus conventional surgery has many benefits including smaller incisions, less pain, less womb infections and shorter recovery time.

"It is still a big surgery and complications can occur," Dawley said. "But there are usually less when using this new technology. We want to make recovery better for our patients."

Dawley is the only surgical gynecologist in Huntington to use the robotic Da Vinci Surgical System.

Dr. James Jensen, director of robotic surgery for the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, said patients across the state as well as Ohio and Kentucky are responding well to the new robotic system for their surgical needs.

"Dr. Dawley will be a pioneer in this area for gynecological robotic surgery," Jensen said.

Dawley said not only do the patients benefit from this surgery, but she does as well. The robotic system allows Dawley to magnify the structures in the body and see them in detail.

She also said the Da Vinci makes it easier because it holds the weight of the patient. In simple terms the way the system works is a small incision is made and a scope is put through the belly button.

Jensen said robotic surgery is expected to evolve in the future.
"Robotic surgery is the exception now," Jensen said. "Conventional surgery will be the exception in the future."

Jensen also said all branches of surgery will have robotic applications in the future.

Dawley said patients have given positive feedback.

"Patients have had a pretty good response," Dawley said. "Most patients are enthusiastic when I offer it to them. I explain to them it allows me to see better. You always want your surgeon to be able to see well."

Cabell Huntington Hospital also uses the Da Vinci Surgical Systems for other types of surgeries.

"A happy patient is our best source of referrals," Jensen said.

Katie Fowler can be contacted at

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