HealthWatch: Robot Assisted Surgery


One local hospital is using minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery to help women recover from surgery faster. 

Every year in the u-s 13-thousand women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. If caught in the early stages it is highly treatable.
Now minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery is helping women recover from surgery faster. 

As a mother of 3– life for Sara Zacek is very busy, “It’s fun and exciting and my kids are hilarious.”

Sara says 6 month old Addie would not be here — if it wasn’t for Dr. Peter Johnson, director of gynecologic oncology at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, “The way he decided to treat the cancer enabled me to get pregnant to have another child.”

Sara was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after the birth of her second child- Dr. Johnson told her, “When you’re done with child bearing we recommend the hysterectomy because there is at least a 20 percent chance there’s still cancer there.”

“I was scared,” but Sara still wanted another child. The cancer was stage one– Sara chose to have Dr. Johnson remove the cancer through conization, “That’s where we cut away part of the cervix but leave most of it so one can go on to have a baby,” explained Peter Johnson, MD, director of gynecologic oncology, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Sara needed two procedures and it allowed her to have Addie — but “Following the pregnancy again there was an abnormal pap test,” said Dr. Johnson.

“I wanted to make sure i was healthy for the  kids i have,” said Sara.

So Sara took Dr. Johnson’s advice.  He performed a hysterectomy using  minimally invasive laparoscopic robotic surgery using the latest- cutting edge technology the Da Vinci Xi, “Much safer for the patient much better visualization,” explained Dr. Johnson.

The doctor sits at a console and controls the robot with his hands and feet while using immersive 3D-HD technology, “The robot transforms it into very smooth movements so there is reduction of shaking. There is grading so if i move my my hand 7 inches it’ll only move one inch with the robot so its very precise,” explained Dr. Johnson.

With a traditional hysterectomy a large open incision is made- with the robot there are only tiny incisions — so recovery is much faster, “Where as we used to have people off 6 weeks off of work now they can go back to work in two weeks,” explained Dr. Johnson.

Sara was back at work in a few days, “The robotic surgery was very easy,” said Sara “I had minimal pain.”

Then a couple of months later, the pathology showed the cancer was deeper than they thought and invasive — so once again Dr. Johnson performed robot assisted surgery, “You take additional tissue around the edges to get a a tumor free zone,” explained Dr. Johnson.

Today Sara is cancer free, “It’s been a tough two years,” Sara said emotionally “I want to be here for my kids for sure that was the biggest thing going through my mind.”

The Da Vinci Xi opens the door to new minimally invasive surgeries in gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery.

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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