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Pilot's Dream Comes True Thanks to New Robotic Surgery
Date:6/20/2011

his family came to see me, they were anxious to help him get to a point where he could live more comfortably and pursue his dreams," said John Hairston, M.D., urologist at Northwestern Memorial.  "Andrew was a great candidate for robotic bladder augmentation, and as a fellow pilot I understood his will to not take no for an answer."  

Bladder Augmentation is a procedure that uses tissue and intestinal segments to rebuild a urinary reservoir and bladder walls. It has traditionally been performed through an open abdominal incision.  Earlier attempts by other groups to perform the procedure laparoscopically still required the use of an abdominal incision to complete the intestinal work.  Hairston and colleagues have pioneered an approach that occurs completely in the body using the DaVinci™ robotic system, resulting in the entire surgery being performed through five or six tiny incisions which are covered only by band aids. The innovative method offers several benefits over traditional open surgery, including a lower risk of infection, quicker recovery times and a shorter hospital stay.

"This procedure is a safe, effective alternative to open surgery that can provide great benefit to patients suffering from neurological disorders that cause dysfunction in the bladder," said Hairston who is also an associate professor of urology and co-director of neurourology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Baniecki underwent surgery in 2010 which successfully repaired his bladder.  He no longer requires life-long medication to control his bladder and is now an active young man who is far less hindered by his disease.  On his 18th birthday Baniecki received the ultimate gift—he flew his very first training plane—a step towards receiving his pilot's license.  

"Every pilot remembers the day when they pass the practical fli
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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