Robotic surgery helping cancer patients - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Robotic surgery helping cancer patients

Urologist Dr. Mark Lyell said when cancers are detected early, while they are small and haven't spread, doctors are often able to use a minimally invasive procedure involving the Davinci Surgical System.  (Photo source: WLOX) Urologist Dr. Mark Lyell said when cancers are detected early, while they are small and haven't spread, doctors are often able to use a minimally invasive procedure involving the Davinci Surgical System. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

More and more lives are being saved by less invasive robotic assisted surgeries. And one area the technology has made a huge difference is in treating kidney cancers that haven't spread. A Pascagoula man is cancer free thanks in part to the robotic assisted surgery at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula.

Jeff Bordelon, 57, has always had to pay special attention to his kidney health. 

"When I was five I was run over by a truck and it crushed my left kidney," Bordelon recalled. 

His kidney healed, but it made him more aware of any problems, and when he had blood in his urine he went to the doctor right away. He was diagnosed with early stage kidney cancer. 

"From the time I was diagnosed to getting it removed, it was probably a week. He didn't wast any time and I didn't waste any time. So I think my early detection saved my life."

Urologist Dr. Mark Lyell said because it was detected early, while the cancer was small and hadn't spread, doctors were able to remove it using a minimally invasive procedure involving the Davinci Surgical System. 

"For small tumors, this provides just as good a cancer control as removing the whole kidney, but provides the benefit of the patient keeping most of the kidney," Dr. Lyell said. 

The endoscopic surgery is performed with five small incisions in the abdomen with doctors controlling the robots movements, guiding the robotic arms and the endoscope to the site of the tumor. 

"It allows us to see better and be more precise in our movements." 

That's because the robotic system offers enhanced vision using 3D imaging along with improved dexterity. 

Fluorescent technology known as Firefly makes it easier to identify the tumor. It's a dye that differentiates between normal tissue and cancer tissue during the surgery.

And once the tumor is removed from the kidney, patient recovery time is quicker than traditional surgery. Lyell was back at work within a few weeks.

"That afternoon, the day of the surgery, they had me up and walking around."

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