Cedar Rapids— Dr. Kevin Kopesky, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa (PCI) surgeon, is performing the first robot-assisted single-incision gallbladder removal surgery in Cedar Rapids at St. Luke’s Hospital – Iowa’s robotic leader – on Thursday, April 5 at 11 a.m.
The procedure will remove the gallbladder from the patient – making a small, single incision in the patients' belly button using the da Vinci robot-assisted system.
Traditional gallbladder surgery typically requires a large opening in the abdomen, or in laparoscopic surgery, multiple small incisions in the abdomen. Traditional surgery generally requires an in-patient hospital stay with recovery times ranging from days to a week. With robotic surgery, the patient will go home that day and resume normal activity as soon as they feel up to it.
To mark this milestone surgery, St. Luke’s will provide live coverage of the surgery via COVER IT LIVE and will also send out tweets via Twitter. A member of the hospital communications staff will provide step-by-step coverage from the operating room. Individuals will also be able to ask questions, which will be answered by Dr. Kopesky during the operation. The COVER IT LIVE feed will include images and video clips from the procedure (some of which may include graphic content). The patient will be prepped for surgery starting at 11 a.m., and the operation should last approximately an hour and a half.
The 72-year-old patient is from Eastern Iowa. He has given consent to share his surgery on social media but wishes to remain anonymous.
St. Luke’s was the first Cedar Rapids hospital to acquire the da Vinci surgical robot in 2005. To date more than 1,880 robotic surgeries have been performed at the hospital. More robotic surgeries are performed at St. Luke’s than any other hospital in the state making St. Luke’s Iowa’s Robotic leader. In fact the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System has designated St. Luke’s as the world’s most experienced Robotic Epicenter, which means surgeons from other parts of the country travel to the hospital to learn how to perform robotic gynecological surgery.
Dr. Kopesky, a PCI general surgeon, started performing robotic colon resection surgery last fall. He uses the robot not only for single-site gallbladder removal, but also other general surgeries including adrenal gland removal, colon resection and correcting acid reflux. Robotic surgery helps surgeons minimize the pain and risk associated with traditional surgery, while increasing the chances for a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes.
“I have to admit I was initially a skeptic about robotic surgery,” said Dr. Kopesky. “But after learning more about the da Vinci from other surgeons who used it I was impressed. I have been doing laparoscopic surgery, which is also minimally invasive, for many years but feel in some cases robotic surgery is a better way to operate. It was time to learn this new way to operate and I thought it was something we needed in Cedar Rapids.”
The da Vinci surgical robot allows surgeons to operate through tiny openings. The surgeon uses a special console with hand and foot controls to move the robotic arms, which hold the instruments to operate. A small, 3-D camera helps surgeons see and perform intricate surgical procedures. The robot translates the surgeons’ natural hand motions at the control console into corresponding movements of the robotic instruments.
Operations performed at St. Luke’s using the da Vinci surgical robot include:
· Prostatectomy (prostate removal)
· Pyeloplasty (for blockage of the urinary system)
· Nephrectomy (kidney removal)
· Partial nephrectomy (partial removal of the kidney)
· Hysterectomy (uterus removal)
· Sacral colpopexy (vaginal prolapse)
· Myomectomy (fibroid removal)
· Endometriosis procedures
· Fallopian tubal reversal
· Colon resections
· Cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal)
· Adrenalectomy (adrenal gland removal)
· Nissen procedure (procedure to correct acid reflux or GERD)
· Ileostomy (bowel diversion surgery)
About Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa
Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, founded in Cedar Rapids in 1997, is one of the largest, private, multispecialty medical groups in Iowa. More than 75 board certified physicians, surgeons, and mid-level providers offer high quality medical care to eastern Iowa communities. For more information, visit www.pcofiowa.com.