FOR RELEASE: 9/19/2008Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

At 250 procedures, robotic surgery program at Bridgeport Hospital is tops in county

Bridgeport Hospital’s robotic surgery program has reached a milestone: Surgeons have performed their 250th procedure using the da Vinci “S” minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery system, more than any other hospital in Fairfield County.

In January 2007 Bridgeport Hospital was the first hospital in the county, and one of the first in Connecticut, to use the system. With its flexible robotic arms and state-of-the-art three-dimensional imaging system, the da Vinci allows surgeons to perform delicate procedures with unprecedented precision.

“It was much better than I expected,” says 52-year-old Kathleen Turner of Southport, one of the first patients to benefit from robot-assisted surgery at Bridgeport Hospital. “I recovered very quickly and was back at work in just two weeks. I was told that I might have been out of work for up to six weeks if I had undergone traditional surgery.”

Bridgeport Hospital surgeons have used the da Vinci system for gynecological procedures, prostate surgery, selected thoracic (chest) procedures and, most recently, for colorectal surgery.

“Robotic technology allows surgeons to perform more complex procedures with greater dexterity than traditional open surgery or standard laparoscopic surgery,” explains Bridgeport Hospital Chairman of Surgery Nabil Atweh, MD. “This translates into significant benefits for patients, including less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.”

The da Vinci’s robotic arms can delicately make pinpoint incisions and perform suturing and other surgical maneuvers with great precision. The arms are guided by the surgeon from a console, which is also equipped with a sophisticated three-dimensional imaging system.

“The 3-D image is as clear as looking through an open incision in traditional surgery,” Dr. Atweh says of the da Vinci’s imaging system.

Other benefits of robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery for patients include less blood loss and scarring, and a lower risk of infection.

“The da Vinci ‘S’ system adds a new dimension to the technical skills of our surgeons,” Dr. Atweh says. “By allowing traditional laparoscopic procedures to be performed more accurately and with fewer side effects, the da Vinci opens new frontiers in surgical technology.”

For referrals to Bridgeport Hospital physicians who use the da Vinci robot-assisted minimally invasive surgical system, call toll free 1-888-357-2396.

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Bridgeport Hospital is a member of Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive integrated health care delivery system in Connecticut. Yale New Haven Health System is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the populations it serves. Yale New Haven Health System's service area covers portions of eastern New York, the state of Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island. Yale New Haven Health System is committed to making the best health care easier to use.