Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Robotic Surgery a Hit at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Robotic Surgery a Hit at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City

Article excerpt

Mercy Health Center used the Field of Dreams method of attracting someone to head its robotic surgery program.

"They went with 'If we built it, they will come,'" said Dr. Brian Link, urologic surgeon and the one who uses the da Vinci - not the investor or artist, but the robot - the most at Mercy. He hired on in July, one year after Mercy spent $1.6 million on the robot, which is used mainly for prostate removal but has other surgical functions, including hysterectomies and kidney removal.

Robert Woods, a retired Oklahoma City police officer, said he chose robotic surgery after talking to friends and researching the Internet.

Woods' prostate cancer was detected in July, and he underwent robotic surgery on Aug. 12 for prostate removal.

"I checked around and found out that with regular surgery you can have about a two-week stay in the hospital and it's more invasive," Woods said. "I decided to go with robotic and I'm glad I did. I'm still recovering and I'm getting better and better as the days go by."

Link said most of his patients go home the day following the surgery.

Link has done three surgeries at Mercy after performing about 300 during his training at City of Hope, a national cancer center near Los Angeles.

Link first made contact with Mercy officials about 15 months ago.

"I started talking to them when I was doing the fellowship and robotic training in urologic oncology and they talked to me about coming back here," he said. "In the meantime, several surgeons here took up the call and went to training and started learning it on their own."

Two gynecologists and a urologist showed an interest, he said.

There are two main parts to the robotic system - the surgeon's console and the robotic cart.

The surgeon looks through a view box to see two video screens, one through the left eye and one through the right, and they merge in the surgeon's vision and create a pseudo-three-dimensional view of the inside of the body. …

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