Communications | Press Release

Robotic Surgery in Minot hits milestone

Date: 2011-04-11
Contact: Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683

Robotic Surgery in Minot hits milestone

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 hysterectomy.

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".