Da Vinci assisted esophagectomy at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center

With da Vinci robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console and maneuvers the robotic arms inside the patient while looking into a 3-D scope. 

Sherrie Diliberto had severe Barrett’s esophagus that affected the lining of her esophagus and resulted in emergency surgery.  Diliberto says prior to the surgery, she couldn’t keep food down and weighed around 89 pounds.  

She says doctors used the da Vinci robot at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center “to remove the bad part of the esophagus and top part of the stomach.”

“We’re only the third city in Florida to do a successful da Vinci assisted esophagectomy.   We’re talking the third city behind Miami, and I believe Orlando.   It’s remarkable that this size town can offer those same type of operations here, and we’re ahead of the curve for many larger cities in the Southeast,” explains General Surgeon Dr. Alex Jones.

 He says robotic surgery results in less blood loss and a faster recovery.   It can essentially cut the hospital stay in half for many patients. 

“People that may have not been a candidate for a larger open operation may now be candidates for a robotic operation because the approach is less invasive,” Dr. Jones says.

“Now I feel like a whole new person,” Diliberto exclaims.

Dr. Jones says many complicated cancer surgeries can also be performed using the robotic technique.   He says being able to stay in your hometown for surgery near your family support system helps with the physical and psychological recovery. 

Source: WMBB 5/16/2014

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