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Marshall’s daVinci robotic-assisted surgeries take leap forward

By From page B8 | July 10, 2013

Marshall Medical Center invested last year in a state-of-the-art daVinci robotic surgical system. Previously available only at large, multi-hospital health systems, the daVinci has become another important option for minimally-invasive surgery at Marshall. daVinci surgeries are almost always outpatient, and result in less blood loss, fewer and smaller incisions, less pain and a quicker recovery time.

Procedures currently being performed using the daVinci system include many benign gynecological conditions, as well as some general surgery needs. The most recent advancement has been the introduction of a single-site (meaning one small incision) procedure with very positive results. Because da Vinci robotic movements are so precise, less tissue manipulation during surgery typically means less pain during recovery.

The patient, Denise Ford, consulted with her surgeon, Robin Locke, MD, about the possibilities for treatment for a variety of issues she was having. Subsequent testing confirmed she would need her gall bladder removed. “In addition, I also needed my appendix removed, and to have an umbilical hernia repaired,” Denise explains. They decided robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery was the best choice.

It wasn’t until Dr. Locke was actually beginning the surgery that he confirmed it could be accomplished with just one small incision at the belly button. “Performing surgery using the da Vinci system gives me far superior visualization of the area I’m working in,” Dr. Locke explains. “This, combined with the incredibly delicate and precise nature of the instruments, allows me to do things I couldn’t do otherwise. The cosmetic advantages of one small incision are pretty remarkable too.” He reports that patients typically have less pain throughout the process, and do better during recovery.

When Denise talks to people about her experience, she makes sure to dispel the frequent misconception that it’s the robot doing the surgery. “Without the surgeon right there in the room controlling each and every move, the robotic arms don’t move—it’s the skill of the surgeon that enables the robot to assist in such remarkable ways.” She’s pleased she was a candidate for single-site surgery and would choose it again.

Dr. Locke is now performing more complex surgeries using the da Vinci surgical system, including hiatal hernia repair.

Marshall Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit community healthcare provider located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. Marshall Medical Center includes Marshall Hospital, a fully accredited acute care facility with 113 beds in Placerville; several outpatient facilities in Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills and Georgetown; and many community health and education programs. Marshall has over 200 board-certified physicians and a team of over 1,500 employees providing quality healthcare services to more than 180,000 residents of El Dorado County.


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