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First successful robotic surgeries completed at GRMC

February 24, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the past two weeks, Grinnell Regional Medical Center staff and Surgical Associates surgeons have completed 10 surgeries on the new daVinci SI Surgical System and patients are sharing their success stories.

"Recovery time was probably twice as fast after the robotic surgery. I had outpatient gallbladder surgery on Monday. By Tuesday night, I quit taking pain meds and by Thursday I was back to work for a couple of hours," says Todd Couful of Victor, Iowa. "I had no problems and the big advantage is the benefit to the surgeons. I'm glad we were able to bring this technology to Grinnell. "

Nicholas Kuiper, DO, Surgical Associates, performed the first surgery at GRMC with the daVinci SI Surgical System. He removed Couful's gallbladder in a procedure took just a little more than 20 minutes.

"Robotic surgery is the greatest advancement in surgery since laparoscopy. It offers several advantages," Kuiper says. "Robotic surgery allows surgeons the ability to treat patients with the best precision and view of the operative field.

"Traditional laparoscopy is uncomfortable and the instruments used do not feel natural. Robotic surgery is very comfortable and gives me the ability to use instruments that move like my own wrists and hands. My patients find comfort in knowing that I am selecting the safest, most precise way to do their surgery through as few as incisions as possible."

Couful agrees.

"Dr. Kuiper had discussed the procedure with me and a comparison of robotic surgery versus open or laparoscopic surgery. He explained that the amount of time in the OR is the about same with both. But the robotic unit is much easier on the surgeon and he actually spends less time on the operation. I feel more confident knowing that this is easier on the surgeon," he says.

Angela Doty of Brooklyn, Iowa, was also one of the first patients to have surgery at GRMC with the daVinci unit. She underwent a complex robotically assisted hysterectomy performed by David Coster, MD, surgery department chair at GRMC. The outpatient surgery allowed Doty to go home the same day after recovering from anesthesia.

"Having had previous abdominal surgeries, I can say I wasn't in so much pain after the surgery and I was able to sleep," Doty says. "By day four I was back to normal, with no pain. I still had lifting restricts for a few days but I felt normal. I've had seven abdominal surgeries in my life time. I have many experiences to compare. This was better than expected."

Coster explains that "it is really remarkable what a difference this technology makes for both the patient and the surgeon. There is less physical stress for both the patient and surgeon during the procedure. The surgeon has the advantage of magnified 3-D visibility and can work comfortably sitting at the console. The da Vinci instruments are finely tuned to work in a much smaller space with less overall movement, reducing blood loss and tissue stress. Surgeries can be performed with incomparable precision, and patients can often go home the same day even after major operations. This technology is an astonishing leap forward, and it's fun and i

To learn more about robotic surgery at GRMC, speak with your surgeon or healthcare provider.



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