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New robotic surgical procedure for cancer: smaller incision, faster recovery

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We hear about robotic surgery more and more -- surgeons using robotics for delicate surgical procedures.

One valley physician just performed a new kind of robotic surgery on women with gynecological cancers and he's the first in Arizona to do it.

Gynecological surgeons have operated with robots for almost 10 years. But this August, Dr. Ivor Benjamin and Dr. Dennis Scribner, became the first in the state to perform a robotic operation with just a single cut.

"You just make a single incision in the belly button.  Typically its about one inch long and through that, we can do the whole operation -- multiple instruments go in through that one little port," explained Benjamin.

The technique is called Single Site Robotic Surgery, and is an improvement upon the old robotic technique that required multiple incisions.  While sitting at a 3D visual console, Dr. Benjamin guides the robot to remove cancerous uterine and ovarian cysts.

"The computer helps take your hand motions in the console -- the surgeon's motions and translate them into very precise movements at the level of the patient."

In early August,  Dr. Benjamin completed his first single site robotic surgery at Arrowhead Hospital. He says the two patients he operated on are doing well and that this new technology can benefit many other patients facing ovarian or uterine cancers.

"The women would recover more quickly, be able to get on with their lives more quickly, have less scaring."

Additionally, patients who need radiation or chemotherapy after surgery can also start those treatments sooner. The technology is so promising, Dr. Benjamin already has several other patients lined up for the procedure.

Dr. Benjamin will soon perform single site robotic surgery at several hospitals around the valley.  He'll eventually teach other gynecological surgeons in Arizona how to do the procedure too.

Dr. Ivor Benjamin
Arizona Center for Cancer Care
Locations in Peoria and Scottsdale
arizonaccc.com/dr_ivor_benjamin.html

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