The robotics program started at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay in 2015.
The technology allows surgeons to work through much smaller incisions and makes for a quicker recovery for patients.
And one of their doctors achieved a milestone using the cutting edge technology.
Two weeks after Wayne Kurowski had a kidney removed he noticed something was wrong. “I had a swelling on the left side and it was starting to bother me,” said Wayne Kurowski , patient.
His doctor sent Wayne to Dr. Cynthia Geocaris a general & vascular surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, “Wayne came in with an incisional hernia which means he had a surgery in the past and the muscle did not heal together properly,” explained Dr. Cynthia Geocaris, MD, general & vascular surgeon, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
The hernia had to be fixed, ” If you are having symptoms really the only treatment we have to offer is a surgical option,” explained Dr. Geocaris.
Wayne was a good candidate for minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery- using a robot allows the surgeon to use tiny instruments and camera through three small incisions allowing for a more precise technique, “And we are finding less cost and better outcomes,” said Dr. Geocaris.
Instead of a traditional hernia operation- where a large open incision is made in the abdomen, “Where as this surgery with a bigger incision he would have been in the hospital for several days and even had a couple month recovery,” explained Dr. Geocaris.
Wayne went home the same day- and only two weeks after surgery, “Real good, I feel good,” said Wayne.
Wayne’s surgery happened to be Dr. Geocaris’ milestone 1000th robotic surgery, “The technology for robotics has greatly advanced and for general surgery. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the team we have,” said Dr. Geocaris.
Dr. Geocaris started performing robotic surgeries in 2005 and now its a majority of her practice, “Anything I did in general surgery in the abdomen I can now do robotically,” said Dr. Geocaris.
Aurora BayCare is one of twenty mentor sites across the nation that is a designated teaching site for surgeons – teaching robotic hernia surgery Dr. Geocaris is the lead, “So it’s really an honor to be chosen as a teacher for other surgeons and other institutions,” said Dr. Geocaris.
Wayne is glad his surgery was done robotically, “Oh I think thats just good you know any time you can eliminate cutting you open and going through all the procedure,” said Wayne.
Less than 2% of all active surgeons in the U.S. Qualify to lead designated mentor programs.