Less Time in the Hospital Thanks to Robotic Surgery
Self-described “techno nerd” Ron Jensen doesn’t own a computer, and he would rather listen to an 8-track tape than a CD. But at age 65, Ron got up close and personal with new technology when Dora, the robot, helped save his life.
Ron’s diagnosis of diabetes in 2007 prompted his physician, Marla Keeton, MD, to check his liver, an organ that can be affected by diabetes. Tests revealed a suspicious spot on his left kidney. He remembers Urologist Gerald Park, MD, suggesting the spot likely was cancer but a biopsy would confirm his suspicion. In consultation with Dr. Park, Ron decided to skip the biopsy and chose surgery to remove the area. “I need to be here for my wife, so I felt it was best to take care of the problem and not worry about it in the future,” remembers Ron.
Today’s technology gave Ron and his wife, Brenda, a surgery option not available even 10 years ago. Ron’s age, overall good health and early-stage cancer made him a good candidate for robotic surgery. After his surgery in February at North Kansas City Hospital, Ron was home after only three days, missed just 13 days of work and his incisions were the size of a ballpoint pen.
“I’ve never had surgery, but if surgery is like this, then sign me up again,” laughs the Edgerton resident.
Compare his experience with someone who undergoes traditional kidney surgery and the difference is a 6-inch incision, a more uncomfortable recovery, a hospitalization of up to two weeks and up to four months off work.
Robotic technology lets a surgeon be more precise as he/she manipulates the instruments from a distance at a console. Patient benefits include a quicker procedure, less pain and blood loss, reduced risk of infection and minimal scarring.
Three years ago robotic surgery began at the Hospital as a surgical option to treat prostate cancer. Now, robotic surgery is an alternative to other traditional surgeries including hysterectomy and prostate surgery.
To find out more about robotic surgery and the physicians who perform it, contact North Kansas City Hospital at (816) 691-1680 for a free brochure.