Robot-assisted surgeries now available through Wilmington Health

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The first of its kind in southeastern North Carolina, doctors at Wilmington Health are advancing the way they perform certain surgeries – like robot-assisted gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery.

Dr. Jayme Stokes has become the first surgeon to perform robot-assisted gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery at Novant New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The first to perform TAMIS surgery via robotics was Dr. Gentry Caton, Division Chief of the Department of Surgery at Wilmington Health, in 2021.

“As the hospital continues to provide more access, we will be able to perform robotic surgery in an urgent and emergent way. So not only are we talking about patients who can have a very large surgery with small incisions, but we’re also talking about patients who come to the emergency room who can have surgeries that are usually done with very large incisions and long stays in the hospital, and when properly applied, those patients can do very well. wear and have fewer complications,” Dr. Gentry Caton said.

Robotic surgery offers many advantages that allow surgeons to better care for patients. The surgeon can see tissue in unprecedented detail with optics offering ten times the magnification and perform the technical parts of the operation more precisely with each instrument.

“So we’ve been doing robotics for years, and advances in robotics have continued to allow doctors to perform increasingly complex procedures that allow patients to return to normal activity more quickly, have less less pain, less bleeding, and that’s going to continue to revolutionize the way we care for our patients in the future,” Caton said.

These surgeries include colectomy, cholecystectomy, hernia repair, and minimally invasive transanal ablation of rectal lesions or TAMIS.

Rather than cancel surgeries that required patients to stay overnight during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stokes is integrating robotic technology into his practice in order to perform these surgeries.

“Thanks to the benefits of the robot, we are currently the only bariatric program in the region to offer patients the option of being discharged the same day after their bariatric surgery,” said Dr Stokes.

Stokes offers robotic surgery for bariatric procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass, management of adjustable gastric bands, heartburn and reflux treatment procedures, gallbladder removal operations, hernia repair operations in the groin or other parts of the abdominal wall.

“Because robotic surgery tends to cause less trauma to a patient’s tissue, postoperative pain is significantly less than open surgery or traditional laparoscopic surgery. As a result, patients generally need fewer prescription pain relievers and return to normal activities more quickly after surgery. Some surgeries that previously required hospitalization can now be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to recover in the comfort of their home,” Stokes said.

To view a list of services provided at the Wilmington Health Bariatric Surgery Department at 1202 Medical Center Drive in Wilmington, click here. You can also make an appointment or find out more here.

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