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Remarkable Recoveries Thanks to Breakthrough da Vinci Robotic Surgery Technology

Tennova Healthcare copySurgical robotics was little more than a medical curiosity until 1999. That was the year Intuitive Surgical introduced the da Vinci® Surgical System, offering a growing number of surgical patients the alternative of minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery.

Thanks in large part to the leadership of a number of dedicated and visionary physicians, other healthcare professionals, and Tennova Healthcare, Turkey Creek Medical Center has emerged as both a local and regional leader in robotic-assisted surgical procedures. Today, Turkey Creek Medical Center is recognized as one of the few medical centers in the world where prominent physicians from around the globe come to train.

This month Everything Knoxville is delighted to introduce to its readers the far-reaching medical benefits for themselves, family members, and friends available from this team of forward thinking healthcare professionals at Turkey Creek Medical Center.

Dr. Michael Fields, Turkey Creek Medical Center’s Director of Robotic Surgery, performed the first local robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery in 2006 and has since performed more than 1,000 minimally invasive procedures using the da Vinci technology. Dr. Fields has also been named one of 24 national Epicenter Surgeons for training in robotic gynecological surgery, having trained most of the region’s surgeons in these procedures as well as surgeons from around the nation and world.

It’s been the mission of Turkey Creek Medical Center and CEO Lance Jones to bring the latest technology to the Farragut campus. Turkey Creek Medical Center now has two da Vinci robots in use by surgeons. In addition, the hospital has secured Knoxville’s only MAKOplasty®, a robotic system allowing orthopedic surgeons to replace knees and hips with accuracy and precision never before achieved. It’s a GPS for your joints. Sinus surgeons are using a new minimally invasive robotic tool for treating chronic sinusitis, and neurosurgery of the spine is now done with navigation.

EK: How is Turkey Creek Medical Center becoming such a center for technology and other medical advancements?

Lance Jones: Simply put, it’s our physicians and associates. We have had a number of extremely talented physicians who have chosen to practice at Turkey Creek. They’ve brought with them some incredible technological breakthroughs, some of which are only available at Turkey Creek, such as the MAKOplasty® system for orthopedics, worldwide clinical trials in cardiology, the area’s only Level 1 Bariatric Surgery program (Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss), the first single site gallbladder removal, and now the first, through the belly button, single site hysterectomy in Tennessee. In fact, surgeons and cardiologists come from around the world to observe our physicians in actual cases. This has quickly become the facility where physicians come to learn to be even better physicians and surgeons.

EK: Dr. Fields, you recently performed the first “belly button” robotic-assisted hysterectomy. Tell our readers how this procedure was different from traditional hysterectomies and how it impacted the patient’s hospitalization and recovery.

Dr. Michael Fields: It truly represents a remarkable advancement in robotic procedures. With just one small incision, there is less chance for infection and blood loss, and the recovery is much faster compared with traditional laparoscopic surgery using five small incisions. Also, of course, cosmetically, it’s appealing to women who don’t want to be permanently scarred with a large incision or even multiple small incisions.


EK: Dr. Fields, describe for our readers the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery.

Dr. Michael Fields: It improves quality of life. Anytime you can undergo surgery and recover quickly with less pain and scarring, it’s a win for both the patient and surgeon. Robotics leads to a shorter hospital stay and recovery time, less scarring, less blood loss, and less pain. For many people, it means being able to get back to work more quickly.

EK: What types of surgeries are currently being performed using this technology?

Dr. Michael Fields: The implications for robotic surgery continue to expand. At Turkey Creek Medical Center, we are not only using the robot for gynecologic surgery, but also for prostate, bariatric, colorectal, thoracic, and general surgery. We are seeing just the tip of the iceberg with robotics. In the future, there will be few procedures performed that don’t use some element of robotic technology.

EK: How does the da Vinci robotic system assist and benefit the surgeon?

Dr. Michael Fields: Some people think the robot replaces the surgeon, which is not true. The robot enhances the surgeon’s ability to see inside the body. The surgeon manipulates instruments outside the body to translate his or her hand movements into the movement of the robotic arms. Those “arms” are what enter the body through the small incision. Using high-definition video, the surgeon can get a magnified view inside the patient. The technology helps surgeons operate with better visualization, precision, dexterity, and control.

EK: How important has Turkey Creek Medical Center’s commitment to this new and breakthrough technology been to its physicians and, more importantly, your patients?

Dr. Michael Fields: The support from Tennova has been invaluable. We have had the freedom to build this program into a true Center of Excellence in robotic surgery. We’ve had physicians on this campus from around the country eager to learn what we are accomplishing. Just recently a surgeon visited us from Ireland to receive training. All of our visiting surgeons are extremely impressed with the caliber of our facility, surgical team, and our quality outcomes.

EK: What would be the best way for our readers to learn more about da Vinci robotic-assisted procedures?

Lance Jones: We invite you to learn more at www.tennovarobotics.com or by calling Tennova toll-free at 855-TENNOVA (836-6682). You can also receive a physician referral to one of our surgeons or to a primary care physician associated with Turkey Creek Medical Center. Our physicians will work with you to help you choose the best options depending on your healthcare needs.

Tennova Healthcare
Turkey Creek Medical Center
10820 Parkside Drive
Knoxville, TN 37934
865.218.7011
855.TENNOVA toll-free
www.tennova.com
www.tennovarobotics.com

Turkey Creek Medical Center Robotic Firsts

Stephen Boyce, M.D.  
Bariatric Surgeon
First surgeon in Tennessee to perform a Robotic Greater Curvature Plication for weight loss surgery

Nitin Rangnekar, M.D.
General Surgeon
Performed first Robotic “Single Incision” gallbladder removal in the region

Jay Young, M.D.
Colorectal Surgeon
Performed the first colectomy – colon and rectal resection – in the region to treat diverticulitis

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