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Surgeon Uses da Vinci Robot to Perform Life-Saving Surgery to Remove Cancer in the Esophagus
A 67-year-old Long Island man is thriving more than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and underwent a highly complex surgery to remove the thoracic section of his esophagus. Once the section of the esophagus running from the diaphragm up to his chest was removed, his stomach was then pulled up and attached to the remaining portion of the esophagus located in his neck.
A multi-disciplinary team of surgical, radiation, interventional and medical cancer physicians at South Nassau Communities Hospital, led by Rajiv Datta, MD, FACS, medical director of South Nassau’s Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Surgery, and Shahriyour Andaz, MD, FACS, director of thoracic oncology, collaborated on the operation.
The initial phase of the surgery was performed by Dr. Andaz. Working behind the heart, pulmonary vessels and the trachea, Dr. Andaz used the da Vinci® robotic surgical system to remove the thoracic section of the esophagus as well as 21 lymph glands surrounding and adjacent to the esophagus.
“The three-dimensional view of the surgical site provided by the da Vinci enabled me to remove the exact section of the thoracic esophagus and to be more thorough and extensive in the removal of the lymph glands,” said Dr. Andaz, who was assisted by cardiothoracic surgeon Stewart Fox, MD, FACS.
After Dr. Andaz completed the removal of the thoracic esophagus, Dr. Datta followed with the “mobilization of the stomach.” Dr. Datta made an incision in the neck to move the stomach up into the neck and attach it to the esophagus.
“The expertise of the team combined with patient-centered surgical technologies and the da Vinci system resulted in an uneventful surgery and postoperative recovery for the patient, who was discharged home without any complications,” said Dr. Datta.
Recognized as the world’s most advanced robotic surgical technology, the da Vinci received its name in recognition and honor of Leonardo da Vinci, who invented the first robot and used incomparable accuracy and three-dimensional details to bring his masterpieces to life. In like fashion, the da Vinci robotic surgical system helps surgeons perform complex surgeries with refined dexterity, precision and control, through small incisions. In addition to the precision and control, benefits for surgeons include increased range of motion, enhanced visualization and improved access. Patient benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include a shorter hospital stay; reduced pain and risk of infection; less blood loss and scarring; fewer transfusions; faster post-operative recovery; and a quicker return to normal daily activities.
While robotic-assisted surgery is most commonly used to treat men diagnosed with early prostate cancer, South Nassau’s surgeons also use the da Vinci system to perform general urologic, gynecologic, kidney, chest and other minimally-invasive surgical procedures.