Northwest Valley hospital surpasses 5,000 robotic surgical procedures completed

The surgical team at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus. (Abrazo Health)
The surgical team at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus. (Abrazo Health)

Surgeons at a hospital in the Northwest Valley have officially completed 5,000 robot-assisted surgical procedures.

The achievement represents a significant milestone for Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, which is known for its surgical programs. More than 1,000 of the procedures were completed in 2019.

Doctors who perform minimally invasive surgery use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to a patient’s body than in typical open surgery.

Robotic surgery takes this process a step further, as computer guidance and magnified, three-dimensional views of the surgical site allow surgeons to operate with improved precision, flexibility and control.

“Continual innovations in minimally invasive surgery have made robot-assisted procedures an option for patients with a wide range of conditions,” said Jeff Patterson, CEO at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus.

He said the pace of such procedures using robot-assisted technology continues to increase.

“The daVinci is often used for gynecology, urology, cancer, hernia repair and other procedures,” Patterson said, referring to the robotic equipment Abrazo uses.

daVinci surgical robot. (Abrazo Health)

The daVinci uses laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery technique, to perform surgery through a series of small incisions, tubes and tiny cameras and instruments — all with the goal of creating a quicker, less painful recovery for patients.

“Robotic surgery is the biggest advancement in surgical care in the last two decades,” said Dr. Dennis Scribner, a gynecologic oncology surgeon at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus. “The technology provides the ability for us to perform procedures that have traditionally been done through large incision and now completed with incisions that are less than an inch. This has clearly improved patient care and their quality of life.”

Scriber said Abrazo Arrowhead Campus’s state-of-the-art robotic surgical platforms allow him and his team to offer “excellent care.”

The campus also offers education and training opportunities for surgeons from other hospitals, so they can learn robotic-assisted surgery techniques first-hand.

A surgeon at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus operates the daVinci surgical robot from its console. (Abrazo Health)
A surgeon at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus operates the daVinci surgical robot from its console. (Abrazo Health)

The hospital is home to Abrazo Health’s General Surgery Residency Program, bringing new surgeons to Glendale who work closely with local physicians  for real-world learning.

“I’m so pleased with the Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, which has supported all of the surgeons in reaching this milestone,” said Dr. Debora Fox-McClary, colorectal surgeon. “The OR staff, nurses and technicians worked nonstop to make this possible, and along with the floor nurses and ancillary staff, have made the Abrazo Arrowhead robotics program the best in the region.”

Robotic surgical technology at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus includes:

  • daVinci Surgical System, a robotic surgical system “designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach” and controlled by a surgeon from a console. Three are in service at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus.
  • Navio Surgical System, a robotics-assisted platform that “uses CT-free technology for accurate implant sizing and positioning without the need for rods.” It can be used for partial or total knee replacements.

“Our surgical programs offer a collaborative clinical environment and a focus [on] patient advocacy,” Patterson said. “We are committed to providing quality care and a safe environment for each of our patients.”

Graham Bosch

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