Penn State Health St. Joseph expands surgical technology capabilities

Penn State Health is expanding the availability of its advanced surgical expertise to the Berks region this month, an effort bolstered by the generosity of a Berks County couple.

Ray and Carole Neag have pledged $2 million to Penn State Health St. Joseph for the acquisition of the da Vinci Xi surgical system.

The da Vinci Xi is the next frontier for minimally invasive surgery and is especially capable of helping physicians perform highly complex surgeries.

“We are grateful to the Neags for their generosity and vision,” said John R. Morahan, CEO of Penn State Health St. Joseph. “Their transformational gift supports our commitment to bring the most advanced clinical technology to the residents of Berks County.”

Patients undergoing robotic-assisted surgery often have smaller incisions, less pain, less blood loss, fewer complications, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery, according to Dr. Stephanie Estes, director of robotic surgery at Penn State Health.

“We are proud to be working together with the highly-trained robotic-assisted surgeons in the Berks community,” Estes added.

The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has employed minimally invasive, robotic-assisted technology across a range of surgical specialties including general thoracic, advanced gynecologic, surgical and urologic oncology and reconstruction, colorectal and hepatobiliary surgery.  St. Joseph will start by offering robotic-assisted OB/GYN associated procedures, and has plans to expand into other types of surgeries in the near future.

“We have several robotics systems across our health care continuum,” Estes said. “And while the technology gives us the capability to offer patients more options, more important is the qualifications of the people who operate these highly-sophisticated system. Surgical skill combined with the latest technology enables us to offer precise techniques across a spectrum of minimally invasive surgeries.”

Adds Dr. Timothy Grube, a gynecologist and the lead robotic-assisted surgeon at St. Joseph: “Robotics allows smaller incisions to be used during surgery, which means faster recovery and shorter hospital stays. We have unparalleled precision, dexterity and control, which means less tissue damage and less pain.”

The advanced technology of the da Vinci Xi is structured with four arms mounted on an overhead suspension. The system can rotate to practically any position, giving surgeons flexibility and autonomy for everything from the most straightforward surgery to the most highly complex case. In addition, the system is equipped with immersive high-definition, three-dimensional visualization, the latest in real-time fluorescence imaging and advanced instrumentation.

October 9, 2017 Penn State Health News

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