HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - No one looks forward to surgery. But the good news is, if you need to have it, you have more options than ever before, including robotic assisted surgery. Now, more specialties are jumping on board this new technology.
Crestwood Medical Center uses the da Vinci Si. They now have two of them.
According to ENT surgeon Dr. Mark Hagood, “It lets us approach an area that's remote to us to visualize with great magnification, super resolution, and the world's greatest 3D. It's the best view you can have. Better than a microscope.”
“We had to wait while the other specialties were having all the fun because the arms weren't small enough for ENT surgery," said Dr. Hagood.
But that's all changed now. Dr. Hagood is one of only two surgeons in the state doing transoral robotic surgery.
Dr. Hagood explains, “That allows us to do base of tongue surgery for cancers, it allows you to do some benign tumor resections of the larynx, and of the base of tongue, and we're also doing sleep apnea surgeries with it.”
And the good news, it's much less invasive than traditional surgery.
“If we can do this in a less invasive way, that means healing time is faster. It means pain is less. Stays in the hospital are less,” says Dr. Hagood.
The advances have been life-changing for the patients and the surgeons.
Dr. Hagood says, “ENT surgery came aboard because the hands got small enough to reach into the mouth and go to the base of the tongue to remove cancers in that area without having to make large incisions on your face, split your mandible, swing it open to get to these cancers, so once that happened, our specialty has started to advance the use of the robot.”
For surgeons like Dr. Hagood, it's an exciting time to be in this field. “This is totally awesome. It's fantastic to have that technology that you only thought about in the movies and to see it happening, that`s tremendous.”
Because you're in the hospital less time with this less invasive surgery, that also means it costs you a lot less money, and you're not off of work quite as long.