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Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s advancements in robotic chest surgery

Sugar Land, TX - 3/8/2012

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recently performed the first robotic chest procedure in Fort Bend County. A removal of a mediastinal mass in the thoracic cavity was successfully performed—adding to the list of many other minimally invasive surgical procedures which are being completed at this hospital.

Uttam Tripathy, M.D., Sandra McKenzie and Elizabeth Torres, M.D.Uttam Tripathy, M.D., Sandra McKenzie and Elizabeth Torres, M.D.

Uttam Tripathy, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, conducted the surgery using the da Vinci® S Surgical System allowing the surgeon’s hands to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments, which are introduced into the chest cavity through small 8-12 mm port incisions.

This type of surgery traditionally involves a long incision either along the neck or down the middle of the chest.  The da Vinci® S Surgical System, however, allows the surgeon to make just three to four small incisions in the chest for the inclusion of a tiny video camera and micro-surgical instruments.  Robotic surgery provides a wide range of benefits over traditional open-chest surgery, including:

  • shorter hospital stays
  • less pain and scarring
  • less risk of wound infection
  • less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities.

It can also be judiciously considered for other chest procedures.

“The mass removal is a major procedure that previously required an open chest and all the associated risks and difficulties,” says Dr. Tripathy.  “Robotic technology enables us to be even more precise and detailed in our surgical approach while using a less-invasive method of reaching the tumors.  It’s a benefit to both the patient and the surgeon.”

Dr. Tripathy’s patient, Sandra McKenzie, says the procedure was easier than expected.  After undergoing the procedure at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, Sandra was released to go home just three and a half days later. If Sandra had the traditional surgery, her hospital stay could have been as long as ­­­seven days.

Initially, Sandra was seen by her primary care provider, Elizabeth Torres, M.D., for a routine checkup. After testing revealed a suspicious tumor she was then referred to oncologist, Sanjay Sethi, M.D. Dr. Sethi then consulted with Dr. Tripathy for removal and biopsy of the tumor. Once Dr. Tripathy met with Sandra he felt she was a perfect candidate for robotic surgery.

“I recovered far more quickly than I anticipated and the pain was very manageable. My care in the ICU at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital was marvelous. The nursing staff was so attentive and didn’t miss a beat,” McKenzie says. “Keeping a positive and uplifting spirit and receiving the best care at the best hospital throughout the entire process has really helped me get back to life so quickly.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tripathy or another cardiothoracic surgeon in your area, please call the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital physician referral line at 281-274-7500.

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