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Robotic Surgery in Minot hits milestone

Date:  April 11th, 2011

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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Officials at Trinity Health suspected North Dakota was ready for
advanced robotic surgery last summer when they recruited urologist Ryan
Hedgepeth, MD, to lead the advanced robotics department. What they
didn't realize was how informed their patients would be about robotic
surgery and the advantages it offers for certain types of procedures.

Trinity Health introduced the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System to the
region last July; it was the debut for this level of technology in
North and South Dakota. On April 1, the surgery department at Trinity
Health marked its 100th procedure utilizing this system.

According to Dr. Hedgepeth, many patients were aware of the
technology and of its benefits. They have been grateful for the new
level of minimally invasive surgery the da Vinci offered them, including
shorter recovery times, minimal scarring, less pain, less blood loss,
and increased patient safety.

"When I first came to Trinity Health, we were determined to deploy
this technology deliberately, ensuring the physicians were appropriately
trained and comfortable using it for the appropriate cases," noted Dr.
Hedgepeth, who had prior extensive experience with the da Vinci System.

Over time, surgeons have added to the types of procedures they
perform using robotics. Currently, the da Vinci is used for both
urological and gynecological procedures, such as prostatectomy and

Dr. Hedgepeth has since performed more complex robotic-assisted
procedures, such as adrenalectomy (removal of tumorous adrenal glands),
partial nephrectomy (removing a tumor in the kidney), Ureterectomy
(removing all or part of a diseased ureter), and Sacrocolpopexy
(repairing the uterine or vaginal vault prolapsed).

Trinity Health Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Dr. David Billings, uses
the da Vinci system for hysterectomy procedures. The second-most common
procedure performed on women in the US, hysterectomies are surgical
procedures involving the female reproductive system.

Finally, the robotic surgery program continues to evolve as a team effort.

"Our whole surgery team has worked hard to become what they are today
â€" a model for great robotic surgery programs," added Dr. Hedgepeth.

Continuing to enhance our surgical capabilities is one more example of how Trinity is "Reinventing Health". SPACE index.php