Our topic today in Neighborhood Health Watch is Robotic thoracic surgery, particularly lobectomy for lung cancer.
It's the second most common cancer in both men and women. Lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
Most lung cancers could be prevented if people didn't smoke.
Robot-assisted surgery changes the way lung cancer has been traditionally treated, says Dr. Graham Bundy, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon with Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute.
Dr. Bundy says, "Traditionally, it's been through a very large incision - sometimes 10 to 12 inches long - in the side of the chest. In order to do that procedure, we have to spread the ribs, so it can be very painful. These new technique we have now, particularly using the Da Vinci robot, allows us to make several small incisions and then very carefully divide the artery and the vein that go to the portion of the lung we're going to remove and divide the bronchus. That allows us to safely remove the specimen without having to spread the ribs. It aids in a very quick recovery. A lot of patients sometimes leave the hospital after just two or three days."
Next Tuesday, Election Day, Henrico Doctors Hospital is holding a seminar on lung cancer and treatment options. It's open to the public. The shine a light event goes from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Cancer survivors will also share their personal journeys.