Robotic Assisted Surgery Changing the Game

As seen on KARK TV

A robotic device is changing the way that doctors treat colon cancer. The new advance in treatment is a game changer in the operating room at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary.

"A surgeon having tiny little hands in the abdomen doing the surgery that you could never do with a laparoscopic surgery," explains Dr. Lee Raley, Chief of Surgery.

Dr. Raley says the da Vinci robot is improving colon cancer treatments through minimally invasive surgery. "The cameras and the screens that we use now with this, are three dimensional high definition, where we can see things that we were never able to see before," Dr. Raley adds.

Dr. Raley controls the robot with hand movements that translate into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient's body. With a 3-D high definition view, he's able to go in and dissect the tissue, cut the bowel and take the cancer out. All this is done with small incisions.

"This technology is also improving the chance that a patient can go and have a cancer operation for colon or rectal cancer and less of a chance for having permanent colostomy," he continues. One thing Dr. Raley stresses you take away from all this is to see a doctor if you notice anything different, remember to check your family history and get a colonoscopy.

"What are their risks, what symptoms could they be having, things like pain or bleeding or changes in their bowel habits," says Dr. Raley. Regular abdominal surgery would have patients in the hospital for 6 or 7 days. With this robotic-assisted surgery, recovery time drops to 2 or 3 days.

Learn more about Dr. Lee Raley, the CHI St. Vincent Colorectal Surgery Clinic and CHI St. Vincent Infirmary.