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Hendrick surgeon now offering robotic-assisted lung surgeries to patients

Hendrick surgeon now offering robotic-assisted lung surgeries to patients
Hendrick Health is now offering minimally-invasive, robotic-assisted procedures for lung and chest surgeries. Dr. Victor Reis, Hendrick cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, is the only surgeon in the region performing these robotic-assisted procedures. Patients who need lung resections or lobectomies for cancer, surgery for collapsed lungs, removal of the thymus, lymph node sampling and surgical biopsies of masses, as well as surgeries for pleural effusions and complicated pneumonias, now have this less invasive option available. 

“This is a huge surgical advancement for the region and we are proud to be able to offer it at Hendrick Health,” said Reis. “This minimally-invasive approach to treating lung cancer and other thoracic conditions, changes lung cancer care for people in the Big Country.”

Traditionally, lung surgeries are very invasive and performed through long thoracotomy incisions. With this ‘open surgery’ technique, surgeons cut through muscles and between ribs, and then spread the ribs in order to see inside the chest cavity. With the robotic procedure, Reis uses four or five small incisions and does not need to “crack open” the chest.

While open surgery for lung procedures is still appropriate, performing these surgeries with robotic assistance is a newer option for patients who meet the criteria.

“We do a bronchoscopy and biopsy first to determine if a patient is a robotic candidate,” said Reis. “Our patients who have had the robotic-assisted surgeries have had much easier recoveries. They experience less pain, require fewer days in the hospital and return to normal functions significantly sooner than those receiving the traditional thoracotomy. In addition, some studies suggest that the complication rates with robotic surgery and mortality rates are lower than with thoracotomy.”