Surgeons at USMD Hospital at Arlington are First in Metroplex to Use Fluorescence Imaging

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New Technology Offers Improved Accuracy When Extracting Renal Tumors

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For the first time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, fluorescence imaging technology is being utilized during robotic kidney surgery. This new technology further enhances the USMD Arlington robotics program, one of the first in north Texas and still the only program in the DFW area with three robots in one hospital.

The new technology allows a surgeon to see and assess anatomy better than with the naked eye and therefore perform a meticulous dissection of a tumor, avoiding interference with a healthy blood supply and long-term damage to the healthy kidney tissue. For patients, the robotic technology translates into less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, a lower rate of complications and excellent clinical outcomes.

“We are pleased to be the first in the region to offer this ground-breaking technology to our patients and the community we serve,” said H. Mitchell Abrahams, MD, a urologist and board member of USMD Hospital at Arlington, where more than 4,500 robotic procedures have been performed. “Not only will it further enhance our surgical robotics program, but it will also result in improved outcomes for patients,” adds Dr. Abrahams.

The specially designed camera and endoscopes allow surgeons to capture images of tissue and surrounding blood vessels by injecting a unique fluorescence dye that is activated by near-infrared light. In addition to standard real-time images of the surgical field, the camera can switch to view the images of tissue and surrounding blood vessels illuminated by the special dye when exposed to the near-infrared light. Using this technology allows physicians to better differentiate between malignant and normal tissue almost immediately during the process as a cancerous tumor stains less brightly than normal kidney matter.

At this time, fluorescence imaging technology is being used only with kidney surgeries. However, because Intuitive, maker of the da Vinci® Surgical System, has received broad clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for wider use, surgeons at USMD will soon expand usage of the technology into other specialty areas, such as gynecology and general surgery. The benefit, as with kidney surgery, will be improved precision when separating tumors from organs.

The advanced robotic platform of the da Vinci® Surgical System is equipped with high definition three-dimensional cameras, which allow doctors to better see each surgical site and instruments, increasing dexterity and control. This new technology provides greater operating room efficiency. USMD Hospital at Arlington uses the da Vinci for a variety of procedures, including prostatectomies, gynecologic surgeries, Bariatric cases, and kidney cases.

The surgical robot uses a minimally invasive technique, which entails smaller incisions and less tissue damage compared to traditional surgery. Surgeons are able to perform major surgeries through dime-sized incisions, which require only one or two stitches to close. As a result, patients can return to their normal activities in one to two weeks and are at lower risk of developing infection.

Although robotic instruments play a significant role in surgical procedures at USMD Hospital at Arlington, it is highly trained physicians who perform the surgery and create the team behind every procedure. The surgeon’s skill, complemented by robot precision, offers benefits to patients undergoing surgery in a variety of specialties.

USMD Hospital at Arlington, located at 801 West Interstate 20 in Arlington, Texas, is a physician-owned, community hospital. Its robotic team has performed more robotic surgeries than any other group in North Texas and focuses on the areas of robotic urological and gynecological surgery, bariatric surgery, colon and rectal surgery, cosmetic surgery, general surgery, gynecology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, podiatry and urology.

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Bren Clevenger-Ori
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