Cooley Dickinson Introduces Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Program

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dick-inson Hospital has launched its Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Program at the Kittredge Surgery Center.

As part of this new program, Cooley Dickinson joins only 10{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of hospitals nationwide to offer the da Vinci S Surgical System, state-of-the-art, minimally invasive robotic technology that allows surgeons to perform precise movements using micro-instruments within a patient’s operative site. The da Vinci S provides surgeons with an alternative to open surgeries and conventional laparoscopy, and it enables them to perform the most complex and delicate procedures through much smaller incisions with precision.

According to CDH President and CEO Craig Melin, Cooley Dickinson has brought the latest in advanced surgical technology to the community. “We are pleased to offer patients state-of-the-art surgical care — featuring the robot and other minimally invasive procedures — that are housed in our new spacious and modern facilities,” Melin says. “The addition of robotic-assisted technology at CDH is just one of many initiatives that are taking place as we continue our ongoing pursuit of being a national model for care delivered at community hospitals.”

Since mid-July at Cooley Dickinson’s Kittredge Surgery Center, urologists Dr. Donald Sonn and Dr. Raphael deLima have performed four radical prostatectomy procedures (surgical removal of the prostate gland due to cancer) using the da Vinci S Surgical System. In their careers, Sonn and deLima have performed more than 100 procedures using da Vinci equipment.

“This technology has truly revolutionized our field,” Sonn told The Healthcare News, adding that when compared to open procedures, the patients undergoing robot-assisted surgery see numerous benefits, including a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less scarring, less blood loss, faster recovery, and a quicker return to normal activities.

“We are also able to more accurately visualize the neurovascular bundles, which could translate into better results in terms of erectile dysfunction,” he continued. In addition to the treatment of prostate cancer, urologists will use robotic-assisted surgery for other procedures, such as reconstruction of the kidney, partial nephrectomy, vasectomy reversal, and removal of the bladder.

Over the next few months, surgeons representing general surgery, urology, and gynecology will attend robotic training. Separately, orthopedic surgeons continue to attend training to offer patients minimally invasive approaches to joint replacement.

CDH Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Smith said that consolidating robotic surgery and minimally invasive surgical services under one program demonstrates a “conscious effort to make Cooley Dickinson a destination hospital.”

Chief of Surgery and general surgeon Dr. Timothy O’Brien said the acquisition of the da Vinci S enables Cooley Dickinson to offer minimally invasive surgical procedures that rival much larger tertiary medical centers. “With this level of sophisticated technology, Cooley Dickinson is giving patients every possible option for surgical care.”

General surgeon Dr. Holly Michaelson emphasized that residents have access to state-of-the-art surgical care in their community.

“Research tells us that minimally invasive surgery offers better outcomes for patients, including less pain, smaller incisions, fewer days spent in the hospital, and a quicker return to normal activities,” she said.

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