Saturday, July 7, 2012

Philadelphia's Jefferson Hospital Performs First Robot-Assisted Distal Pancreatectomy (Mini-Whipple)

Firstly, I had no idea there was such thing as a "mini-whipple," so that was interesting to learn.
Secondly, this is amazing technology and I hope it helps improve things for all pancreatic cancer (or pre-pancreatic cancer) patients!

From this website article...


"A distal pancreatectomy, often used to treat pancreatic tumors and cysts, is a procedure in which the body and tail of the pancreas are removed, usually along with the entire spleen.

Allen could have undergone open surgery, which would have removed the cyst just as successfully, but it would have required a larger incision and longer recovery.

“This procedure is opening up doors in different ways,” said Dr. Lavu. “It’s making it easier on the patient because it offers up shorter hospital stays, less risk of infection and less scarring and bleeding. Most importantly, it gets the patients back to their daily activity quicker.”

Only a few centers in the United States have performed a robot-assisted distal pancreatectomy.

With the robotic arms, a surgeon can perform delicate operations through tiny incisions, which are used to introduce miniaturized wristed instruments to remove the cysts or tumors and a high-definition 3-D camera to view a magnified image of the surgical site, enhancing visualization. 

In Allen’s case, the procedure, in which Dr. Lavu took 40 percent of his pancreas, was a preventative measure, removing a precancerous cyst that could have developed into a tumor.  That cyst was found by his urologist after he had bladder stone surgery last October. His doctor then ordered an MRI and CT scan to get a better look. The tests later revealed the cyst, so he came to the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary and Related Cancer Center to see a surgeon."

Read the full article here!

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