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Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Celebrates 500th Robotic Surgery

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Celebrates 500th Robotic Surgery

On February 20, 2020, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center’s Surgical Robotics program hit a milestone of performing the 500th surgery using our da Vinci XI surgical robot. Dr. Noah Zuker FACS, a robotic general surgeon from St. Lawrence Surgery, along with the Claxton-Hepburn surgical team, performed an emergency gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy).

Surgical robotics began at Claxton-Hepburn with the onboarding of Dr. Michael Oakley FACS after his training at SUNY Upstate in May of 2017. Dr. Oakley benefited from the prior experience of Claxton-Hepburn’s Kellie Bush, RN, CNOR, and together they were able to bring this technology to Ogdensburg. Working with the hospital board, they were able to acquire the technology and establish a training program to get our surgical team up and running. “Without the foresight of the hospital leadership and the dedication and eagerness of the surgical nurses, we would never have been this successful,” said Dr. Oakley.

Surgical procedures currently being performed on the robotic platform include gallbladder surgery, complex hernia repairs, colon resections, and hysterectomies. In addition to our general surgeons, Dr. Srinivas Ketharaju and Dr. Kaichun Wei of the Gynecology Department are both certified robot surgeons. All of our surgeons have worked diligently to continue their training by attending national programs and have worked hard to get every surgical nurse certified to work on the robotic platform.

Ms. Bush stated, “I am proud of our surgical team. They have embraced the surgical robot and understand the positive benefits the daVinci offers to our patients. The robot is a nice addition to our efficient, smooth-running surgical team.” She continued, “We are looking forward to expanding the use of our robot over the next year. Our patients have had very positive outcomes such as less pain and discomfort and shorter recovery times.”

The da Vinci surgical robot features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand can. As a result, this enables the surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, and control.

For more information about our da Vinci XI surgical robot, visit us on the web at Your tomorrow is worth defending.

Shown in the photo are some of the surgical team at Claxton-Hepburn. Left to right in front are Colleen Wright, Jessica Thornton, Kellie Bush, and Bridget Flack. In back are surgeons Noah Zuker, MD, Srinivas Ketharaju, MD, Kaichun Wei, MD, and Michael Oakley, MD