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Canonsburg Woman Undergoes Robot-Assisted Weight Loss Procedure at AGH
Date:7/9/2009

g demand for it in western Pennsylvania.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease estimates that nearly one third of U.S. adults are now considered obese, and the number of people classified as morbidly obese – defined as having a body mass index of 40 or higher - also continues to rise exponentially - from 3% in 1988 to more than 7% in 2006.

Obesity is linked to a number of serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea and stroke.

With both conventional and robotic laparoscopic surgery, weight loss procedures can be performed through just a few small incisions. The precision perfect arms of the robot, however, offer easier access to some of the more inaccessible areas in the body, Dr. Uchal said.

Ms. Eustis underwent a complex bariatric procedure at AGH on May 11 in which Dr. Uchal converted her from one form of bariatric surgery, called vertical banded gastroplasty, to a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, which is considered the gold standard of weight loss surgery.

“When performing Ms. Eustis’ revision, I found the patient’s abdomen was frozen with adhesions [scar tissue that had formed after her previous surgery and that nothing but fibrous tissue was covering the area of interest. Yet, with the unrestricted range of motion of the robot’s ‘fingers’ I was able to separate vital organs layer by layer without any injury to the patient and virtually no blood loss,” Dr. Uchal said.

Dr. Uchal said that da Vinci offers distinct advantages to both the surgical team and patients.

“The da Vinci System greatly improves our ability to confront even the most complicated obesity cases with a minimally invasive approach, providing surgeons with superior visualization, dexterity, control of the instruments and ergonomic function,” he said. “With this technology, we
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