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El Camino Hospital Media Releases

El Camino Hospital Designated the Only Gynecological Case Observation Site for Robotic Surgery in Northern California

Mountain View, CA - September 26, 2011 - On September 9th El Camino Hospital became the first and only Gynecological Oncology Case Observation Site for robotic surgery in Northern California. This program is intended to share the expertise and experience of our surgeons with gynecologists nationally and internationally. By offering this opportunity the hospital will educate clinicians on best practice utilization of the da Vinci® Robot, a breakthrough surgical technology which facilitates minimally invasive surgery.

El Camino Hospital's Mountain View and Los Gatos facilities are home to the most comprehensive robotic surgery program in Northern California, offering minimally invasive GYN, uterine, prostate, lung and kidney procedures. The hospital’s surgeons have performed the most robotic gynecological surgeries in the region; Dr. Dwight Chen and Dr. Albert Pisani, GYN oncologists who will lead the hospital's Intuitive Case Observation Site program, collectively have performed more than 750 GYN robotic surgeries in the last three years. El Camino Hospital has a dedicated Robotics Coordinator overseeing all procedures with the surgeons, and a dedicated team of nursing professionals with specialized expertise in the care necessary for this patient population.

Numerous studies have shown that the experience of the hospital staff and surgeons who perform a certain procedure correlates with better outcomes.

"El Camino Hospital has made a consistent commitment to our community to invest in the best technology and patient care," said Dr. Chen, a board certified surgeon who treats women with GYN cancer and noncancerous reproductive system conditions that require complicated surgery. "The da Vinci Robot is one such technology—but it is only as good as the surgeons who use it, so we're delighted to be able to share our expertise with other surgeons interested in being trained."

The Da Vinci Si with 3D HD vision is considered one of the most advanced platforms for minimally invasive surgery, one which opened up new opportunities to replace high-impact open cavity surgeries with minimally invasive, nerve-sparing procedures. Such procedures are a growing percentage of all surgeries because they tend to be much less traumatic for patients, with fewer complications (smaller incisions equal fewer chances of infection) and faster recovery.

"A robot is much like a scalpel or a clamp," said Dr. Pisani, one of the leading robotic surgeons in California with over 500 procedures performed. "Once a surgeon has mastered the technique, it becomes an extension of his or her hands—except that now there are four hands instead of two. The robot allows a surgeon more freedom of movement than traditional laparoscopy. Because our community tends to be extremely well-informed, we’re seeing more and more patients seeking out robotics-trained surgeons for their procedures; the demand keeps on growing as people become more aware of its advantages."

Currently, there are 11 GYN surgeons at El Camino Hospital trained on the da Vinci. In addition to Dr. Pisani and Dr. Chen they include Dr. Camran Nezhat, Dr. Barbara Phelps Sandall, Dr. Angela Pollard, Dr. Katherine Sutherland, Dr. Kirby Tran, Dr. Mary Kilkenny, Dr. Nadine Graven, Dr. Tom Margolis and Dr. Nilima Parekhji.

El Camino Hospital also offers Case Observations in complex GYN benign cases. It has three da Vinci Si Systems and has dual console capabilities for training purposes.

Dr. Chen offers a Case Observation schedule every other Friday, beginning September 9th. Dr. Pisani’s Case Observations are scheduled on every other Tuesday, beginning September 13th. To schedule an observation, call Matthew E. Falvo, Clinical Sales Representative, Intuitive Surgical Inc., 408-892-8354.