The surgical team at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is celebrating another milestone: the successful completion of its 650th robotic-assisted surgery.
Memorial introduced robotic surgery to the Greater Niagara Region in 2012 with the purchase and implementation of "SAL," a $1.7 million da Vinci surgical system. SAL, which stands for "Save A Life," was named by then fifth-grader Gabriella Baratta in a countywide naming contest for schoolchildren.
Since then, SAL has been a welcome and busy addition to Memorial's surgical staff, said Donna Feldman, M.D., the hospital's chief of robotic surgery.
"Our robotic surgery program quickly proved its worth to our patients," Feldman said. "Benefits such as less blood loss, fewer surgical complications, less pain and shorter hospital stays have contributed to its ready acceptance by our patients and our surgeons."
SAL was placed into service in the spring of 2012. Specially trained surgeons using the DaVinci system completed their 100th procedure that summer, their 200th the following spring and their 300th procedure in January 2014.
"Our surgeons' expertise in minimally invasive robotic surgery is attracting patients from across Western New York to have their elective surgery at Memorial," said Venkat Kolli, M.D., the medical center's chief of surgery. "Referring physicians are also sending their patients here to undergo complex surgical procedures for which the DaVinci system is so well suited."
Other milestones included the first robotic single site gallbladder removal in August 2012, first robotic laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery in December 2012 and the first single site robotic hysterectomy last November.
"Our surgeons now offer robotic procedures for general surgery, hernia repairs and benign and cancerous conditions in gynecology, urology, nephrology, colorectal and bariatrics," said Director of Surgical Services Shelly Meigs, R.N. "In fact, we have performed more than 150 robotic procedures this year alone."
To learn more about Memorial's minimally invasive robotic surgery program, call 716-278-4492.