HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Robotic surgery for lung cancer treatment

HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Robotic surgery for lung cancer treatment
Robotic assisted surgery (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The topic today in Neighborhood Health Watch is robotic assisted surgery for lung cancer treatment.

Doctors performing this type surgery are specially trained to use this advanced technology. The benefits to patients compared to conventional open surgery include a shorter hospital stay, reduced pain and discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities.

Dr. Daniel Woolley, with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, explains how the robotic assisted surgery system works.

"The biggest misconception I hear people say is they think I walk away from the table and push a button and the robot does everything, but that's not how it is," said Dr. Woolley. "We walk away from the table. We get onto the console. When we're on the console, we're controlling every little aspect of what that does. We can move instruments in and out, and we can articulate them, and that's one of the best things about this robot, is video assisted surgery.

"Before the technology, we had to work in at 90-degree angle, and that's it. With robotics, I can twist and go in any direction I want to go. So it allows me more degrees of freedom to be able to do what I need to do."

Compared to conventional lung surgery, Dr. Woolley says it's the same surgery with a better system. It's divided into three components. There's a component that actually touches the patient, and it looks like an octopus. It's got four arms coming off of it. There's a control tower and the surgeon has the ability to control those four arms.

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