Christopher Lynch, MD, an OB/GYN practicing at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC), has been performing minimally-invasive surgery for the past 15 years. In 2007, Lynch took that experience one step further and became the first surgeon in the Kansas City area to perform a hysterectomy using the da Vinci™ Surgical System.
Lynch said today's patients are very well-educated and know what techniques are available. He said patient demand is why he initially trained on the da Vinci. Patients seek robotic-trained surgeons because they are aware of the benefits.
SMMC was the first hospital in a five-state region to perform minimally-invasive surgery using the da Vinci and continues to be a leader in the field. The hospital now operates two surgical robots focusing on a variety of specialties including gynecology, urology, reproductive endocrinology and general surgery. The robot is controlled by a physician and uses 3-D magnification and 540 degree articulation, allowing for intricate maneuvers that aren't possible with the human hand.
Because the size of incisions using the da Vinci are significantly smaller than with traditional open surgery, patients benefit from less blood loss, faster recovery and fewer complications.
In addition to the hospital's experience with robotic technology, Lynch said the Robotic Team, a group of nurses and specialty operating room personnel dedicated just to robotic surgery makes SMMC the premier place to perform or to have robotic surgery.
Lynch said the da Vinci can have a significant impact on patient outcomes.
"From day one, when I sat down at that robotic console, I knew we would give patients a better outcome," he said. "I have not seen any physician who has done a good amount of robotic surgery go back to traditional laparoscopic surgery."
Not all patients are candidates for robotic surgery. Consult with your surgeon to see if it is right for you, and to learn more about the risks and benefits.