Quicker Recovery Experience with Robotic Surgery
Quicker Recovery Experience with Robotic Surgery

Quicker Recovery Experience with Robotic Surgery


If an operation is in your future, ask your doctor if robotic-assisted surgery is an option for an improved recovery experience. Nearly 70 patients at Wyandot Memorial Hospital made that very choice in just the first six months of offering the technology - a notable number considering elective surgeries were suspended in Ohio until recently.

“Recovery time is much quicker compared to a traditional open procedure or even laparoscopic surgery,” General Surgeon Peter Schuler, MD, stated. “And some patients reported needing no prescription pain medication afterwards.”

Dr. Schuler admitted he was hesitant at first to add robotic surgery to his skill set, but once he learned more about the technique, he was hooked.

“As your surgeon, I’m 100% in control of the robotic-assisted system,” he emphasized. “The ultra-sensitive controls translate my hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of the tiny instruments inside my patient’s body. And the 3D-HD vision system gives me a highly-magnified view of the inside of my patient, all through tiny cameras projecting crystal-clear images to the monitors.”

Obstetrician/Gynecologist Carmen Doty-Armstrong, DO, had her first cases at WMH soon after Dr. Schuler’s initial patients. She agreed with his assessment of the clarity and control the new equipment at WMH provides.

“I’ve been performing robotic-assisted GYN procedures at other facilities since 2010,” Dr. Doty-Armstrong added. “I have seen first-hand tremendous outcomes for patients in their quick recoveries, and my patients have been very satisfied with the results.”

Dr. Schuler indicated he is particularly gratified with the acquisition of the da Vinci as a way to help minimize the use of opioid medications.

“I am convinced this new technology will allow me to perform a better operation with excellent results and bring about a significant reduction in perioperative pain for my patients,” he said. “I believe this to be especially true with regards to hernia surgery.

“The da Vinci robot is a tool in our armamentarium that will help us reach our goal of narcotic-free postoperative pain control,” Dr. Schuler continued.

Both surgeons cautioned that patients are not always candidates for minimally-invasive surgeries, whether laparoscopic or robotic-assisted. The determination is made based upon each individual patient and their medical condition.

“Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery,” Dr. Schuler noted. “It’s important for me to review with patients all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order for them to make an informed decision.”

Wyandot Memorial selected the da Vinci Xi Surgical System for its compact design, extensive range of motion and expandable technology for a broad spectrum of minimally-invasive procedures. While WMH is starting with general surgery and gynecology, plans are to expand it to other specialties.

“We anticipated purchasing the robot later this year when the new surgical suite construction project is completed,” Dr. Schuler explained, “but opted to take delivery in advance so our patients can avoid out-of-county travel for their minimally-invasive procedures.”

Dr. Schuler indicated the addition of Dr. Doty-Armstrong to the medical staff last fall also factored into the early purchase, as the surgeon was already certified for robotic gynecology procedures.

For more information on robotic-assisted surgery at WMH, contact your healthcare provider or Surgery Director LuAnn Montz at 419-294-4991, extension 2256.

General Surgeon Peter Schuler, MD, sits at the console of the hospital’s surgical robot. During a procedure, he has a close-up 3D view of a patient’s anatomy and controls the instruments, which move like a human hand but with a far greater range of motion.

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Obstetrician/Gynecologist Carmen Doty-Armstrong, DO, stands with the console and patient cart of the hospital’s surgical robot. The cart is positioned near the patient on the operating table and the surgical instruments move in real time in response to the surgeon’s hand movements at the console.