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Fellow Surgeon Observes Robotic Surgery


Dr. Darren Rohan is used to being watched while he performs surgery, but one day recently he was observed by a fellow thoracic surgeon, Dr. Louis DeCunzo, who is in private practice but based at Glens Falls Hospital (Warren County).

He observed Dr. Rohan performing two surgeries using the da Vinci Si Surgical System with Skills Simulation.

“Our hospital is considering whether or not we want to start doing robotic surgery and, personally, I’m considering if that’s the way I want to do my cases,” said Dr. DeCunzo. “We’ve been working with the folks at Intuitive (da Vinci manufacturer) and they suggested we come down and see Dr. Rohan. His practice is probably similar to mine in terms of being a general thoracic surgeon at a community hospital.”

It was Dr. Rohan who recently performed the only Robotic Lobectomy (Lung Surgery) in the Hudson Valley. Although he is becoming familiarized with robotics, Dr. DeCunzo had never seen the Si advanced model, which separates Saint Francis from most Hudson Valley hospitals that do have da Vinci surgical systems. Standing with Dr. Rohan, he observed his first robotics-assisted surgery. 

“I’d observed robotic procedures on video and online teaching, this was the first live case I’ve seen,” said Dr. DeCunzo. “I was impressed with how easy it is to set up, the optics and the instruments wrists and what it’s able to do.”

One difference he noted between laproscopic and robotic wristed instruments, he said, is it’s much more like your own hands. “Some of our other surgeons have been out seeing general surgery case,” said Dr. DeCunzo. “I don’t know where it stands with the hospital administration and what conversations they’ve had in terms of financing. I think we’re fairly early in our process.”

It is a tribute and honor to the surgical team that has built the robotic program into an observation site for surgeons, albeit on a so far limited basis.

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