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Robotic-Assisted Surgery Proving Successful; Wheeling Hospital Reports Rapid Growth in Procedures

August 1, 2018

WHEELING – Wheeling Hospital today reported at a news conference its 2-year-old robotic-assisted surgical program has been highly successful and continues to grow at an accelerated rate.

Since implementing the da Vinci Surgical System, the hospital’s annual growth rate of robotic-assisted surgeries is 145 percent. The hospital is averaging 80 such surgeries per quarter.

From general to complex surgeries, the surgeons at the hospital utilizing the da Vinci robotic system include Drs. Gary DeGuzman, David Ghaphery, Howard Shackelford, Steven Wiley and John Wolen. Robotic surgery typically is used for minimally invasive surgeries – procedures performed through tiny incisions -- but can be used for certain traditional open surgical procedures.

“We are very proud of the progress we have made in a short period of time. Robotic-assisted surgery enables surgeons to perform many types of procedures with enhanced precision, flexibility and control over conventional open surgery that often involves one large incision. The surgeons here have become very skilled with robotics, as evidenced by the steadily increasing use of the procedure,” said hospital CEO Ron Violi.

Advantages of robotic surgery include: fewer complications, such as surgical site infections; less pain; less blood loss; quicker recovery with shorter hospital stay; smaller, less noticeable scarring; and decreased chances for the need to be readmitted.

Comparing the robotic system to traditional procedures, surgeons say that for many procedures robotics enhances precision, flexibility and control during the operation. It also enables them to better see the site, compared with traditional techniques. Using robotic surgery, surgeons can perform delicate and complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible with other methods.

Wheeling Hospital uses the da Vinci Surgical System. The system includes a camera arm and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached. Surgeons control the arms while seated at a computer console near the operating table. The console provides the surgeon a high-definition, magnified, three dimensional view of the surgical site.

The system’s wristed instruments bend and rotate, allowing the surgeons to operate with enhanced precision and control. The technology is 100 percent controlled by the surgeon, who works with a dedicated surgical team to ensure everything runs smoothly.

DeGuzman, an obstetrician/gynecologist, is the hospital’s director of Minimally Invasive/Pelvic Reconstructive and Gynecological Robotic Surgery. His robotic-assisted surgeries include hysterectomies and conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse, benign and malignant diseases, endometriosis, pelvic adhesive disease, as well as other gynecologic issues.

As general and trauma surgeons, Ghaphery and Wolen use the robotic system for a wide range of procedures, including those for gall bladder, colon resection, hernias, spleen and pancreatic issues.

Shackelford is a general, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. He uses da Vinci for laparoscopic colectomies, as well as femoral, ventral, inguinal, paraesophagus, hiatal, diaphragmatic and umbilical hernias.

Wiley, a colorectal surgeon, uses robotic surgery for colon resection, benign and malignant cancer, diverticular diseases, rectal prolapse, colostomy reverse and colorectal cancer.

The surgeons can be contacted by calling: DeGuzman, 304-232-1817; Ghaphery, 304-232-3520; Shackelford, 740-695-2442 or 304-905-6582; Wiley, 304-238-0212; and Wolen, 304-243-3160.

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Dr. Gary DeGuzman, an ob/gyn, today discussed the advantages of robotic-assisted surgeries during a news conference at Wheeling Hospital. The surgery program at the hospital is rapidly growing as five surgeons are using robotics for a wide variety of surgeries. DeGuzman is the hospital’s director of Minimally Invasive/Pelvic Reconstructive and Gynecological Robotic Surgery.