For the First Time in Israeli medicine: A Robotic-assisted Gastrectomy at the Sheba Medical Center

RAMAT GAN, Israel, October 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The first robotic-assisted partial gastrectomy in the history of Israeli medicine was performed using the Da Vinci Medical Robot. This very challenging procedure was performed by Yuri Goldes, the lead surgeon at the Sheba Medical Center. Assisted with the robotic system, he removed part of the stomach of a 70-year-old patient, who suffered a malignant tumor. The patient underwent three courses of chemotherapy prior to the surgery. His physical condition was complicated by a number of chronic diseases. During the surgical procedure lymph nodes were also removed. The entire procedure was performed without complications. During the recovery period, the patient's condition remained stable.

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Stomach cancer is generally treated surgically. This approach is the global standard surgery and is widely used in Israel. A surgical procedure of partial or full removal of the stomach is called a total or partial gastrectomy.

Gastrectomy can be performed through an "open" surgical approach that requires a wide incision of the abdominal wall, or a laparoscopic approach. In addition to gastrectomy, patients receive additional treatment: several courses of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. The modern approach to the treatment of stomach cancer involves the removal - full or partial - not only of the stomach itself, but also a number of lymph nodes (especially those affected by the malignant process, or located in the immediate vicinity to the blood vessels feeding the stomach's tissue). Over the past years, more than 70 such surgeries have been successfully performed at the Sheba Medical Center. The patient survival rate has been 100%.

As noted above, gastrectomy can be performed through an extensive abdominal incision or by utilizing a more atraumatic laparoscopic approach. The decision about the surgery type is made by a hospital physician. He relies primarily on such clinical factors as: the tumor size, cancer staging and its spread to other organs, including lymph nodes. The patient's wishes are also taken into account, as well as his/her health condition, chronic diseases, etc.

Laparoscopic procedure is less traumatic for patients; however, one of its major disadvantages is the lack of access to the lymph nodes. It is extremely difficult for the surgeon to remove safely those lymph nodes that are located near vital blood vessels. That is why, medical centers worldwide tend to use the Da Vinci Robotic System that assists surgeons during gastrectomy procedures. Renowned for its introduction and use of innovative technologies, the Sheba Oncology Center is the largest and most advanced center for cancer treatment in Israel.  

The medical robot consists of several arm-type movable units used by the surgeon to perform complex operations. The EndoWrist system's units give the maximum freedom of movements to the surgeon as they can do a 720 degree turn. The optical system allows seeing the surgical field in every minute detail, while the control system allows making accurate incisions without damaging adjacent tissues. Due to movable and flexible tools, the operating surgeon can work in all parts of the abdominal cavity, even in the most remote and difficult-to-access areas. The latter is especially important when it comes to obese patients, who have a rather difficult access to the internal organs.

Surgical treatment in Israel becomes robotic-assisted, which means higher precision and less traumatic procedures.

The Sheba Medical Center

Phone: +972-3-6354287

SOURCE The Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer

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