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Surgeon Performs Robotic First at Coliseum Medical Centers

March 30, 2012

Surgeon Performs Robotice Surgery

Macon, Ga. —Coliseum Medical Centers’ Robotics Program has expanded its capabilities.  On February 29, 2012, thoracic surgeon Laura Reed, M.D., and the thoracic robotic team at the Coliseum Cancer Institute at Coliseum Medical Centers, performed the first lung surgery at Coliseum using daVinci robotic technology.  A fifty-seven-year-old female patient from the middle Georgia area, was recently diagnosed with Mediastinal  Lymphadenopathy. A right robotic node dissection and lung biopsy was necessary to stop the spread of the disease.

“While robotic procedures are being used for gynecological and urological procedures, the use of this technology in thoracic surgery is new,” Dr. Reed said. “With the robot, I am able to perform surgery through a few tiny incisions between the ribs … and avoid splitting the patient’s breastbone and rib cage. The system translates my hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.”

The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to perform surgery through dime-sized incisions rather than the 6 inch incisions common in traditional surgery. The surgeons operate by manipulating the robot’s four arms and viewing the procedure through a high-resolution 3D camera inside the patient.

For middle Georgians with lung cancer, robotic surgery options help make dealing with this disease a little more bearable. Using traditional methods to remove portions of cancerous lung tissue, surgeons must cut between the ribs in order to access the lung. This leaves patients with a large incision on the side of the chest and a long and painful recovery. Using the da Vinci robotic system, Dr. Reed was able to do a right robotic node dissection and lung biopsy without the need for large incisions or spreading of the ribs.

Following the success of the first case, Dr. Reed performed a Robotic wedge resection and lymph node sampling and plans on continuing to offer thoracic robotic surgery to the middle Georgia area.  

According to Lung Cancer Alliance-Georgia, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among men and women in Georgia. This year alone, 6,250 Georgians will be diagnosed and 4,620 will die from the disease. That is 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the state.

Dr. Reed is a graduate of the Universities of Michigan, and trained at the Universities of Illinois and Kentucky. She is Board Certified in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Reed has the distinction of being the first female Cardiothoracic Surgeon to practice in the state of Georgia.