HOUSTON (March 05, 2007)

Urologist Steven Sukin, MD, was the surgeon who performed the robotic-assisted prostatectomy using the da Vinci Surgical System on March 2, 2007.

Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center announced today the first surgical procedure utilizing robotic instruments in Montgomery County. Urologist Steven Sukin, MD, was the surgeon who performed the robotic-assisted prostatectomy using the da Vinci® Surgical System, developed by Intuitive Surgical. The robotic-assisted prostatectomy was performed on March 2, 2007.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, and only lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths among men. The disease most frequently targets individuals between the ages of 45 and 75.

While less aggressive treatment options exist, those patients with localized prostate cancer who are otherwise healthy may choose the more comprehensive, yet less invasive robotic-assisted surgical approach.

In addition to avoiding the 6-inch abdominal incision required by traditional surgery, the robotic-assisted option offers significantly improved outcomes. "This technology benefits the patient because of minimal bleeding, shorter hospital stays, less pain during recovery, and lower risk of side effects such as impotence," said Dr. Sukin.

During a robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon operates the da Vinci system using a 3-D console to maneuver robotic surgical arms designed to mimic the movement of human hands, wrists, and fingers. Six small incisions or "ports" are made in the lower abdomen and slender instruments, including a computerized scope are then inserted to allow a powerfully magnified image. Once setup is complete, the surgeon can control the robotic instruments from a special command console.

"Nine other surgeons on the medical staff at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands are also training to utilize the da Vinci. This new robotic surgical system provides a cutting-edge approach to medicine that allows patients to spend less time recovering after a surgical procedure," said Steve Sanders, chief executive officer of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.

Other surgeons training to use the robotic-assisted approach at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands are gynecologist/oncologist Christine Lee, MD, and urologists: John Giannakis, MD; Paul Kenworthy, MD; Clyde Corey, MD; Michael F. Graham Jr., MD; Matt Hogan, MD; Liliana Woo, MD; Ajay Kwatra, MD; and Gregory Hester, MD.

To learn more about the da Vinci robot, Memorial Herman The Woodlands is hosting an information session on April 4 at 6 p.m. in Conference Rooms A/B, featuring Dr. Sukin as the guest speaker. Registration is required for community programs, please call toll-free 1-877-644-CARE.

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