Robotic Results

Patient Perspectives Deana Transue

November 19, 2018

Deana Transue, 51, of Lakewood, enjoys the summer months spending time with friends at the beach, taking pictures and crabbing. Unfortunately, this past summer was different than she had planned. Just as Deana was about to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she wound up in the Emergency Department at Ocean Medical Center with severe abdominal pains. A computed tomography (CT) scan and ultrasound revealed a mass in her colon.

Quick Diagnosis

Deana visited Brian Wolfman, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Ocean, for further testing, including a colonoscopy and biopsy. She was diagnosed with stage 2 adenocarcinoma, a form of colorectal cancer. Needing surgery, Deana was referred to Thomas Lake, M.D., a board-certified, fellowship-trained colon and rectal surgeon with Ocean. Dr. Lake specializes in robotic surgery and has years of experience performing complex traditional and advanced robotic procedures. Robotic surgery allows doctors to perform many types of intricate procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Initially used for obstetrics/ gynecology and urology surgeries, robotic surgical expertise has expanded to include colorectal, thoracic and general surgery.

Robotic Expertise Ocean’s surgical team has performed more than 500 robotic surgeries. Their successful patient outcomes demonstrate their high level of expertise in advanced robotic surgical techniques. They take a collaborative approach to patient care, working together with nurses and the medical staff to coordinate the best possible outcomes to ensure the process is seamless. Dr. Lake performed a highly specialized complete robotic right hemicolectomy on Deana — removing part of her colon along with fat and lymph nodes.

Using the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform a procedure called intracorporeal anastomosis, Dr. Lake created small incisions associated with traditional laparoscopic surgery, but with improved visualization and range of motion. Deana’s surgery required only a small 4-cm incision, a two-day hospital stay and very minimal postoperative narcotics. Traditional surgery would have resulted in an incision of 15 to 17 cm, a longer hospital stay and additional recovery time. “Robotic surgery dramatically improves a patient’s surgical experience. There is so much less trauma to the patient,” explains Dr. Lake.

Remarkable Recovery

Deana is very pleased with the results of her surgery. She experienced very little pain and has no dietary restrictions. She did not require any chemotherapy since none of the lymph nodes that were removed showed signs of cancer. As she returns to normal daily activities, she attributes her great outcome to Dr. Lake’s expertise, the robotic surgery team and her positive attitude. “Being negative makes your recovery worse. You just do what you need to do and you will get through,” she says.

Ocean Medical Center Has Redefined Cancer Care

While Hackensack Meridian Health has a history of providing exceptional cancer care, last year hope found a new home at Ocean Medical Center. Offering the latest physical, visual and technical upgrades, the comprehensive cancer center allows patients to experience treatments in a state-of-the-art, tranquil environment designed with the patients’ needs in mind. Our experts pair clinical excellence with compassion to improve the quality of life and overall health for patients. With the support of innovative solutions and technologies, collaborative research, robotic surgery and participation in the latest clinical trials, patients have continued to experience exceptional cancer care resources right in their own neighborhood.

Ocean’s comprehensive cancer center offers:

  • Timely access to cancer specialists who are leading the way with innovative treatments
  • Excellent standardized care shaped by evidence-based protocols and outcomes
  • A wide range of treatments, including infusion, radiation therapy, access to minimally invasive surgery and more
  • The most advanced radiation treatment options that use superior accuracy with both a curative and patient-centered goal in mind For the past year, cancer care at Ocean has been and continues to be committed to getting patients back to the lives they love. To learn about our cancer programs or see how Hackensack Meridian Health continues to build hope throughout the state, visit our website or call 732-508-6620.
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