HealthWatch: Robotic Surgery Milestone


Robotic assisted surgery allows surgeons to work through much smaller incisions using a more precise technique. It can be used in numerous types of procedures 

Gynecological oncologist  Dr. Peter Johnson started performing robotic surgery in 2006.  He recently performed a milestone 2,000th surgery using the cutting edge technology. 

“I had what I consider a breakthrough bleed,” said Naomi Pulvermacher, patient.

So breast cancer survivor Naomi Pulvermacher went to her doctor for tests. Then was sent to Dr. Peter Johnson- the director of gynecologic oncology at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, “She had a severe per-cancer of the uterus,” said Peter Johnson, MD. 

 Dr. Johnson suggested a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries, tubes and some lymph nodes, “With a concern that there is about a 25 to 44 percent chance that this could have had an invasive cancer,” said Dr. Johnson.

Naomi agreed “Anything that was cancer or could be cancer I didn’t  need those parts.”

With a traditional hysterectomy a large open incision is made in the abdomen, “That requires a significant number of days in the hospital there’s a lot of pain and disability with the recovery,” explained Dr. Johnson.

Doctor Johnson suggested a robotic minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery which makes only 5 tiny incisions “So we’re getting the same results with much smaller incisions,” explained Dr. Johnson.

And it has immersive 3d technology, “It feels like you’re  right down in the body cavity looking at this area,” explained Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson says using the robot has many advantages, “Quicker recovery times, more precision with the surgery more flexibility as far as what we can do intraoperatively because we have so much more motion.” 

Technology that made Naomi a lot  more comfortable “A lot more confident and relaxed that it was going to be a lesser deal than I had in my mind.”

Naomi was out of the hospital the next day and now one week later, “I feel great,” And the best news for this 5 year cancer survivor, “And again its good right?  Everything came back benign.”

Dr. Johnson says he could not have achieved the 2000th milestone surgery without having a great team and great support from the hospital.

Dr. Johnson also mentors and teaches surgeons across the nation on robotic operating techniques. 

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

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