Spencer Hospital Celebrates 1,000 Robotics Patients

posted on Friday, July 20, 2018 in General

Cindy McGranahan has always been fascinated with historical items, yet currently she’s also a big fan of modern technology.

Cindy, former director of the Clay County Historical Society for more than 20 years, made a little history of her own as she became Spencer Hospital’s 1,000th robotic surgery patient earlier this month.

“We’re lucky to live in an era of technology,” she mused. “Just think about those women crossing the plains and what happened to them when they had a health concern. Never in a million years would they have thought surgery one day would be done with a robot. The technology we have now wasn’t even dreamed of years ago.”

Robotic surgery typically reduces the length of time a patient needs to stay in the hospital and shortens recovery time. Cindy stayed overnight at Spencer Hospital following her surgery, yet was getting ready for discharge the following morning.   According to her surgeon, Dr. Brian Wilson, Cindy’s surgery would have required a 2-3 day hospital stay in the past. 

I find it amazing how good I feel,” Cindy commented. “They’ve taken things out of me and rearranged other things, yet I’m feeling good.”

 Dr.  Wilson, an OB/GYN surgeon with Northwest Iowa Surgeons PC, is also a fan of robotic procedures.

“In general, minimally invasive surgery results in less painless blood loss and a quicker recovery and return to work.  Specific to robotic surgery, patients have less discomfort and return to daily activities even sooner than other minimally invasive modalities,” he said.

Dr. Wilson performed the first robot-assisted surgery at Spencer Hospital on March 31, 2015, and by luck of the schedule, he also performed the 1,000th robotic procedure just a few months over three years later. Wilson’s partners – Dr. Pat Slattery, Dr. Jeff Helmink, Dr. Jason Keonin, Dr. Jaren Ricker and Dr. Abby Drucker – have all contributed to that significant number of robotic procedures.

Records aren’t available regarding the time frame other hospitals took to hit this milestone; however, a quick internet search for hospitals who have celebrated this milestone show a range of approximately 2.5 years to 8, depending on the size of the institution and number of surgeons.

“We’re very fortunate to have highly skilled surgeons providing care to patients at Spencer Hospital,” expressed Bill Bumgarner, Spencer Hospital president. “The hospital purchased the daVinci Xi surgical robot based on the research and recommendation of our surgeons.  We appreciate their commitment to seek out and adapt to new technology to achieve the best outcomes for their patients.

Surgical procedures being performed robotically at Spencer Hospital by Northwest Iowa Surgeons include several gynecological and general surgery procedures, such as hernia repair, colon surgery, gallbladder removal, hysterectomy, and a variety of female incontinence correcting procedures.