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Summa Health System Performs Northeast Ohio's First Robotic Lobectomy

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Summa Health System recently became Northeast Ohio's first healthcare organization and one of only four in the nation to offer robotic lobectomy surgery for patients with lung cancer. Unlike a typical lobectomy, which requires the patient's chest to be cut open through an incision between the ribs, the robotic procedure, performed at Akron City Hospital, allows for the removal of an entire lobe of the lung through four small incisions in the chest.

Approximately 250,000 patients will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. A patient's best chance of cure is when the disease is detected in its earliest stages and can be removed surgically. A lobectomy is generally performed in patients with early stage lung cancer.

"The robotic lobectomy is a significant advance in the treatment of early stage lung cancer," said Summa Cardiothoracic Surgeon Eric Espinal. "Lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. It is our hope that a more minimally-invasive option could allow a greater number of patients to undergo the procedure while resulting in less pain, a shorter hospital stay and more rapid healing."

There are several benefits to the robotic approach. For example, recovery from an open-chest procedure generally takes 8 - 12 weeks; however, following a closed-chest procedure, recovery is closer to 3 - 4 weeks. Also, while additional research is needed, it is believed that concomitant treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy, can be implemented sooner with a lower risk of complications or side effects.

"This is an area of intense study at Summa Health System," added Dr. Espinal. "We are carefully studying the effects of new approaches to lung cancer through participation in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Registry, which allows us to compare our outcomes with those from lung cancer centers around the country."

Information about Summa's Minimally Invasive Surgery Institute, Summa's Cancer Program and the robotic-assisted lobectomy can be obtained by calling 800-23-Summa (800-237-8662) or by visiting

About Summa Health System

Summa Health System is one of the largest organized delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, research and a foundation, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Healthcare (formerly Solucient) and The Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit

SOURCE Summa Health System
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