WILKES-BARRE – The state’s first robotic surgical procedure using the da Vinci Xi ™ system was performed Wednesday by Dr. Clark Gerhart at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
The da Vinci surgical system is an advanced robotic-assisted device that allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive operations with greater dexterity and precision.
The da Vinci Xi™ uses advanced, robotic, computer and optical technologies, allowing surgeons to perform complex procedures through small incisions as an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy. The benefits to patients are faster recovery time, minimal scarring and pain, less trauma on the body, low blood loss and a shorter hospital stay.
Cor Catena, CEO of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and Commonwealth Health, said the addition of this advanced system is further proof that patients do not need to leave the area to receive the best available health care.
“You can’t find this surgical system anywhere else in the state,” Catena said. “The number of robotic-assisted surgeries is increasing and we at Wilkes-Barre General are proud to offer the state’s first da Vinci Xi™ as a further reinforcement of our commitment to bring the best medical care to the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
Robotic-assisted surgery allows surgeons maximum range of motion and precision and the high-definition, three-dimensional camera that guides the surgeon during the procedure provides the surgeon a clearer, more detailed view of the operating site than the human eye can provide.
Gerhart is a board-certified general surgeon and fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In practice since 1995, he specializes in minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery. He focuses on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract including gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or heartburn, intestinal and colon problems, such as cancer and diverticulitis, along with gallbladder and bile duct procedures, and abdominal hernias. Less invasive surgical treatments are also used for treating breast disorders such as cancer and fibroadenoma and in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is one of the epicenters for robotic general surgery in the country, serving as a training site for surgeons to observe routine and complex robotic-assisted general surgery cases. Doctors and entire surgical teams from throughout the United States visit Wilkes-Barre General to observe sophisticated, minimally invasive procedures.