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Missouri Baptist Medical Center - Only Non-Teaching Hospital in Region to Offer Colorectal Cancer Patients Robotic Surgery

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri Baptist Medical Center now provides patients with a new, minimally invasive surgical treatment option for colorectal cancer – robotic surgery with the da Vinci®-S™ Surgical System.  Eric D. Lederman, MD, a board certified general and colon and rectal surgeon, performed the first da Vinci robot-assisted colorectal surgery at Missouri Baptist in late 2010.  He is one of only four surgeons in Missouri who can perform this surgery robotically.(1)


Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon or rectum – is the third most common form of cancer for both men and women in the U.S.  Annually, 140,000 people are diagnosed with the disease, causing 60,000 deaths.  Colorectal cancer begins when normal cells in the lining of the colon or rectum begin to change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor. Sometimes it spreads to lymph nodes or other organs.  According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, colorectal cancer requires surgery in nearly all cases for complete cure.

Most patients whose cancer can be removed with this robotic option, experience less pain, blood loss and scarring, plus quicker return of bowel function and normal diet, and shortened hospital stays.  This state-of-the-art, robotically-assisted system allows the surgeon to operate with just a few dime-sized incisions for the robotic instruments, plus a two-to-three inch incision to remove the tumor, versus making the large 10-inch open abdominal incision required for traditional colorectal surgery.

"It's like having a second set of hands," said Dr. Lederman.  "With assistance from four robotic arms, I can make micro-movements to enhance my hand maneuverability.  By viewing magnified, three-dimensional (3D) images through a 3D camera, I also gain better visibility within the pelvis, which is a small confined space that is difficult to see and operate in, even with the open surgery.  Thus, the robotic system is able to facilitate surgery deep in the pelvis, giving tremendous visualization and access that was previously not possible.  This has enabled minimally invasive resections for both rectal cancer and benign diseases, such as rectal prolapse or Crohn's disease, for example.  These patients can now experience the benefits of less pain and shorter recovery times," he said.

Traditional open colorectal surgery includes a large incision that may extend from the pubic bone to just below the sternum. The patient's digestive track is reconnected after removing the cancerous tumor to help preserve bowel function. This more invasive type of surgery can be quite painful and requires extended hospital stays.  

Missouri Baptist Medical Center acquired its da Vinci® Surgical System in 2008.  Surgeons use the robot for prostate cancer, gynecological and urologic surgeries.  

About Eric D. Lederman, MD

Dr. Lederman received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  He completed his internship at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City and his general surgery residency at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York.  He completed his colorectal surgery fellowship at Saint Louis University.  His surgical interests include minimally-invasive colorectal surgery, colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, diverticulitis and anorectal disorders. Dr. Lederman is board certified in General Surgery and in Colon & Rectal Surgery, and is on staff at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

About Missouri Baptist Medical Center:

Missouri Baptist is a 489-bed acute-care hospital located at Highway 40 and I-270 in west St. Louis County.  Recognized as a "Top 100 U.S. Hospital" by Thomson Reuters, "5-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Attacks" for the seventh consecutive year in Missouri by HealthGrades and "One of America's Safest Hospitals" by Forbes, Missouri Baptist offers a full continuum of medical and surgical services, and specializes in heart, cancer, gastrointestinal, orthopedic, neurological/spine and women's health services. Missouri Baptist provided care for 22,831 inpatients and 35,423 emergency patients in 2009. The hospital is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). It is also designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). In addition, it is designated as a National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.  Missouri Baptist Medical Center is a member of BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States and the largest employer in St. Louis. Based in St. Louis, BJC serves residents in Missouri and southern Illinois through its 13 hospitals and multiple health service organizations.

(1) At the present time, da Vinci robotic-assisted colorectal surgery is only offered at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and at large academic teaching hospitals like Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and St. Louis University Hospital.

SOURCE Missouri Baptist Medical Center
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