New robotic surgery at Butler County hospital 'a good win’ for community

BUTLER COUNTY — As president of Bethesda Butler TriHealth Hospital, Michael Everett said he has three goals: Provide high quality patient care, give his care team members and physicians the necessary tools and serve local patients.

He believes by spending a $1 million on a da Vinci robot that provides robotic-assisted surgeries, all three goals are met.

“A good win for our community," Everett said when asked about the state-of-the-art medical equipment.

The technology also will allow the hospital to recruit and retain surgeons and reduce the travel time for local residents who need robotic-assisted surgeries, Everett said.

“This lets folks know we can provide quality care close to home,” he said.

The hospital started using the robot for general hernia surgeries, and the project is in a second phase, including OB/GYN procedures.

Robotic-assisted surgery is performed by surgeons who utilize a robotic system. Miniaturized medical instruments are inserted through incisions about the size of a dime and controlled by the surgeon via a console, located next to the patient, Everett said.

Some of the benefits of these features include: The instruments are wristed, allowing them to turn and maneuver with ease and also bend far beyond the ability of the human hand; surgeons have more precise control than with laparoscopic tools; with a 3D camera, surgeons are provided high-definition, magnified images for a better view than either the human eye or the 2D images of laparoscopy can allow; and so highly tuned, the equipment even steadies any random movements, allowing for the highest level of precision.

Compared to an open approach, a minimally-invasive approach provides significantly less pain, fewer complications, less blood loss and need for transfusions, less risk of infection, less scarring, shorter hospital stay, shorter recovery time and quicker return to normal activities, said Dr. Padmaja Venkata Sanaka, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology.

“For me, this is great technology to help my patients,” said Sanaka, who has practiced for 35 years, including 10 in Chicago hospitals where she learned to use robotic surgery. “This makes a big difference.”

She has used robotic surgery for nine years and said the technology allows for better outcomes.

“Patient satisfaction is very high,” she said.

Atrium Medical Center in Middletown expanded its surgical options with the addition of a surgical robot eight years ago.

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