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WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital offering state-of-the-art, minimally invasive robotic surgery

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Everett family

A state-of-the-art da Vinci robotic surgery system will soon go into use at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital for a variety of surgical procedures.

WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital today announced that it will soon offer the latest techniques in minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery.

The hospital recently installed its first da Vinci robotic surgery system, allowing a surgeon to perform advanced surgical procedures via a few small incisions. These incisions are about the size of a dime, and usually can be covered with a small dressing about the size of a Band-Aid after surgery.

WellSpan surgeons will begin using the new system later this summer. Among the surgical procedures that will be performed with the da Vinci system are hernia repairs, gallbladder surgery and gynecological surgery, such as hysterectomies, ovarian surgeries and uterine surgeries.

According to clinical studies, robotic-assisted surgery offers numerous benefits including less blood loss, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, smaller incisions, and a faster recovery and return to daily life, as compared to open surgery.

“This is another great example of how we bring great technology to our patients, so they can get the best care, close to home,” said Carrie Willetts, senior vice president of WellSpan Health and president of WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital.

During robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a specially designed console, positioned in the operating room near the patient, performing the surgery by manipulating robotic instruments.

One instrument holds a lighted endoscopic camera that provides the surgeon with a three-dimensional, high-definition image of the surgical field inside the patient’s body. The entire surgical team can see the field via a large viewing monitor. The other robotic arms hold instruments, which the surgeon manipulates via controls at the console. The controls precisely translate the surgeon’s hand movements.

“The arms provide a range of movement that is even greater than the human wrist,” said Sonia Shah, M.D., of WellSpan OB/GYN. “The da Vinci system enables us to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.”

In addition to Shah, other surgeons who will use the da Vinci system include Matthew Souder, M.D., of WellSpan Surgical Specialists, and Heather Sholtis, D.O., of WellSpan OB/GYN.

About WellSpan Health

WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of a multispecialty medical group of more than 1,200 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a home care organization, six respected hospitals, more than 15,000 employees, and 140 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.


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