Hackensack Becomes First Hospital in New Jersey to Use da Vinci SP Surgical System to Perform Oropharyngeal Cancer Surgery   
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Hackensack Becomes First Hospital in New Jersey to Use da Vinci SP Surgical System to Perform Oropharyngeal Cancer Surgery

What you need to know

Hackensack University Medical Center is the first hospital in New Jersey to perform complex oropharyngeal cancer surgeries using the da Vinci SP® Surgical System.

The procedures were performed by Brian E. Benson, M.D., interim chair, Department of Otolaryngology at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Single Port Robotic System

This single port robotic system includes the first fully-wristed da Vinci® endoscope, which allows otolaryngology (ENT) surgeons to easily view the complex anatomy of the throat, tongue and tonsil area.

Dr. Benson was the first ENT surgeon in the U.S. to be certified to use this latest robotic platform. The two procedures are the first of their kind in New Jersey to be performed using the single port technology.

Until now, tumors in the throat have been challenging to reach using minimally invasive or even robotic techniques. The da Vinci SP® Surgical System, the most advanced robotic surgery platform currently available, is specifically suited to operating within the complex anatomy of the throat.

The robotic instruments, which are contained in a single cannula, include three fully-wristed, elbowed instruments, as well as the da Vinci® endoscope. This flexible and dexterous technology allows the surgeon to perform a faster, less invasive and safer surgery.

Successful Oropharyngeal Cancer Surgery Using da Vinci SP® Surgical System

Guy Bertola

The benefits of the new technology extend to patients as well. Guy Bertola, a 46-year-old teacher and football coach from Lodi, New Jersey, was diagnosed with cancer of the lingual tonsils in May 2019.  His cancer surgery was one of the two procedures performed by Dr. Benson. 

According to Mr. Bertola, his recovery has been remarkable.

“I was able to speak right after the surgery and was eating, drinking and walking around the next day. I felt no pain. By that weekend, we had friends over for a Memorial Day barbecue. I have been able to resume my life very, very quickly.”

Center of Excellence for Robotic Surgery

Hackensack University Medical Center established a Center of Excellence for robotic surgery and has the highest volume of urologic robotics procedures in New Jersey. Hackensack University Medical Center was one of only 10 sites in the U.S. selected to launch the new platform in 2018 when it was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain urologic surgical procedures.

Now the medical center is breaking new ground as the first in New Jersey to use the platform for oropharyngeal cancer surgeries.

Dr. Benson has additional ENT cancer surgeries scheduled and he sees tremendous potential in the single port platform. “The single port is able to do cancer surgeries more easily and effectively, and it is definitely versatile enough to accommodate a whole range of other complex ENT surgeries as well.”

For more information

For more information on robotic surgery and it's benefits, click here.

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