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Robotic-Assisted Surgical Oncology

Cancer Care Northwest remains on the forefront of cancer treatment, offering the most advanced treatment options to patients throughout the Inland Northwest. Dr. Maryam Parviz has been performing robotic-assisted surgery since 2014 using the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System.  The Xi system is one of the more advanced robotic systems in use to allow for greater visualization and precise dissection in complex surgical procedures.  Robotic-assisted surgery has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective minimally invasive technique for complex oncologic surgeries.  It is being used more and more frequently as an alternative option to both conventional open surgery and laparoscopy.

Robotic surgery is a type of surgical procedure that is done using robotic systems. The term “robotic” often misleads people. Robots don’t perform surgery. Very small tools and a camera are attached to a robotic arm, which is then maneuvered by a surgeon by way of a computer console. Cancer Care Northwest is proud to use the da Vinci® Surgical System for all robotic-assisted surgical procedures.

Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, surgeons maneuver an advanced set of instruments to perform robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon makes a few tiny incisions to insert small instruments and a high-definition camera inside the patient. The camera allows the surgeon to view a highly magnified, 3-D image of the surgical site. The surgeon, seated at an ergonomically designed console, uses controls to move the instrument arms and camera. The da Vinci® Surgical System translates, in real time, the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger actions into precise movements of the instruments inside the patient. Throughout a da Vinci robotic surgery procedure, the surgeon controls every surgical maneuver. The system cannot act in any way without the surgeon’s input.

Some potential advantages of using robotic-assisted surgery over conventional open surgery and laparoscopy include:

  • Superior surgical precision
  • Increased range of motion
  • Enhanced visualization, including areas that may not be seen by the naked eye
  • Easier access to hard-to-reach areas
  • Improved dexterity
  • Sparing of healthy tissue not impacted by cancer

Surgeons who use the robotic system find that for many procedures it enhances precision, flexibility and control during the operation and allows them to better see the surgical site, compared with traditional techniques. Robotic-assisted surgery also allows surgeons to perform delicate and complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible with other methods like laparoscopy. Requiring only a few tiny incisions, robotic surgery patients often recover sooner, require less narcotic pain medication, and move on to additional cancer treatment therapies (if needed), and get back to daily life quicker.

Potential benefits of robotic surgery for patients include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Lower risk of infection or complications
  • Less blood loss (fewer transfusions)
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less scarring due to smaller incisions
  • Faster return to normal activities

Currently, Cancer Care Northwest uses robotic-assisted surgery to treat the following types of cancers:

  • Adrenal Glands (Adrenalectomy)
  • Colorectal and Small Intestine Cancers 
  • Esophageal Cancer (Esophagectomy)
  • Gastric Cancers of the Stomach (Gastric Resection)
  • Pancreatic Cancer (Partial Pancreatectomy)​
  • Spleen (Splenectomy)

While robotic surgery is a great cancer treatment option for many types of cancers, not all patients are candidates for this procedure.  We encourage you to talk with your CCNW surgical oncologist about the benefits and risks of robotic surgery and how it compares with other surgical techniques, such as other types of minimally invasive surgery and conventional open surgery.

Fighting cancer with surgery is what Cancer Care Northwest’s surgical oncologists know and do best. Cancer Care Northwest surgical oncologist Dr. Maryam Parviz has been performing robotic-assisted surgical oncology procedures since 2014. She has completed comprehensive training and ongoing education on the da Vinci® Surgical System.