On Friday, July 19, 2013, the first ever successful Robotic Thoracic Lung Resection for cancer in Southern Illinois was performed at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center using the da Vinci Surgical System.
Dr. Anthony Nunez, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon and the St. Mary’s Good Samaritan cardiothoracic surgical team, under the proctorship of Dr. Jose Rodriguez, completed the removal of a female patient’s left lower lobe in 1 hour and 46 minutes through a 2” incision.
“We used caution, concentration and care going into the robotic lobectomy with the patient’s best possible outcome on the forefront of our minds,” says Dr. Nunez of the procedure. “We knew that not only were we attempting to make history, but even more importantly, we were helping our patient back to health…back to her family…back to life,” Nunez adds.
Dr. Nunez, a certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon received his training at The University of Alabama. He also gained specialized training in Heart and Lung Transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic. He is currently a clinical instructor in Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Dr Nunez began training for robotic lobectomies in lung cancer patients in May of 2013. Dr. Nunez, who came to St. Mary’s Good Samaritan in 2011, is the first surgeon in the region to successfully complete this procedure.
Traditionally, most Thoracic lobectomy cases are performed through a 10” incision on the chest, which typically results in higher levels of pain, a longer hospital stay, and a slower recovery period for the patient. The chances of infection and complications are also higher because of the larger incisions. Now, through the evolution of this less invasive lung procedure using the da Vinci robot, incisions are typically reduced to around 2”, which results in many patient benefits. The procedure time is shorter with less anesthesia and blood loss. Thus, the critical care time and hospital stay is less lengthy. Many patients arrive home in only two or four days after such a surgery. Patients also experience less pain and scarring as compared to the traditional methods.
Good Samaritan Regional Health Center is paving the way for leading-edge medical technology and procedures in Southern Illinois, making it a regional leader in health care. Opened in January 2013, the new 134-bed facility is home to an extensive surgery department with state-of-the-art equipment and monitoring systems. The da Vinci robot was added in 2011, and since that time has been a part of hundreds of successful surgeries, including hysterectomies.
'We’re raising the bar for health care in Southern Illinois with convenient patient-centered care close to home,” says Mike Warren, President Good Samaritan Regional Health Center. “We continue to improve upon our services and patient care, and we continue to add providers to our medical staff who believe in our mission – to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” he adds.
For more information on St. Mary’s Good Samaritan services, physicians and community outreach, please visit smgsi.com or call 1.888.257.6098.