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Leading the way in Robotic Surgery

Leading the way in Robotic Surgery

With one of the busiest robotic surgery programs in the Chicago area, Silver Cross Hospital has performed over 2,000 robotic procedures since the acquisition of the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System three years ago.

Today, there are 27 surgeons specially trained in advanced robotic-assisted techniques performing life-altering procedures using Silver Cross Hospital’s two robots. These surgeons use the robot to perform prostate, gynecologic, single-site gallbladder and complex oncologic (cancer) procedures for colorectal, stomach and esophageal disease.

Robotic Program Given High Marks

More and more patients are choosing the robotic surgical experience over traditional surgery. And, they continue to give Silver Cross high marks for patient satisfaction ranking the Hospital’s outpatient surgical program in the top 8% in the country according to Press Ganey.

“Silver Cross is a leader in robotic surgery with its commitment to high quality care, exceptional customer service, and its unique position of having two robotic devices, which allows more area residents to benefit from this innovative technology,” said Dr. Thai Nguyen, urologist and medical director of the robotic surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital. “Robotic surgery is the latest, technologically advanced approach to minimally invasive surgery. At Silver Cross, we rigorously ensure that all surgeons and healthcare professionals on the robot team are well-trained on the da Vinci platform, and we are fortunate to have some of the most experienced robot specialists in the region.”

Urogynecologist, Dr. Sandra Culbertson adds, “Compared to traditional open surgeries, patients benefit from less scarring, minimal bleeding, shorter hospital stays and faster, less painful recoveries.”

Training Center for Surgeons around the Country

Surgeons from across the United States come to Silver Cross to observe and learn new techniques from national leaders Dr. R.A. Gamagami, general surgeon, and Dr. Nahla Merhi, gynecologic surgeon, who are designated Epicenter surgeons. Other institutions may have a robot, but at Silver Cross Hospital, Drs. Gamagami and Merhi are teaching other surgeons from across the U.S. how to use this important technology.

“The system combines a surgeon’s skill with precision technology to provide patients with the newest minimally invasive option for complex surgeries like a single-site hysterectomy,” said Dr. Merhi, co-director of the Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology at Silver Cross Hospital.

Dr. Gamagami added “extremely complex cancer surgeries are now being performed laparoscopically here at Silver Cross using the robot.” Dr. Gamagami is an expert in advanced robotic minimally invasive procedures using the da Vinci robot for oncologic (cancer) and colorectal surgery.

How does it Work?

Controlled by a surgeon from a console, the innovative robot is used to make 1 to 2 cm incisions and then long, delicate instruments are inserted into these incisions that enable specially trained physicians to perform the surgery.

Interestingly, misconceptions still exist that the robot is actually performing the surgery all by itself. “The important aspect to understand is that the robotic system cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions by itself,” said Thomas Kazmierczak, D.O., obstetrician and gynecologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “The da Vinci System requires that every surgical movement be performed with direct input from the surgeon.”

Physicians on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, who are credentialed to perform surgery using the da Vinci Si™ Surgical System include:


Learn more

Silver Cross will host a couple free programs about robotic surgery:

Girl Talk: Pelvic Disorders
Sept. 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center
Join Dr. Sandra Culbertson, urogynecologist, to learn why vaginal prolapse and incontinence is more common than you might think. Hear expert advice about pelvic floor disorder signs, symptoms, and treatment options including therapy with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross.

Click here to register.

Gallbladder Disease:  Reasons, Remedies and the Robotic Approach
Oct. 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center
Millions of people are suffering from gallbladder disease.  Join Dr. Thomas Vasdekas, general surgeon, to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and the latest treatment options including robotic surgery.

Click here to register.

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