Hackensack University Medical Center: The First Hospital in New Jersey to Use the Latest Innovation in Robotic Surgery

April 5, 2019

Hackensack University Medical Center is the first hospital in New Jersey to successfully perform surgeries using the da Vinci SP® Surgical System, which inserts all surgical instruments through one small abdominal incision, improving surgical outcomes and allowing quicker patient recovery.

In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the da Vinci SP system for urologic surgical procedures that are appropriate for a single port approach. A renowned center of excellence for robotic surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center was one of only 10 sites in the U.S. selected to launch the new platform.

Site selection was based on breadth of experience in robotic surgery. The medical center’s five urologic surgeons have performed a combined total of over 8,500 robotic surgeries — a number which places the team well within the top echelon in the field.

The da Vinci SP system includes three, multi-jointed, wristed instruments and the first da Vinci fully wristed 3D HD camera. The technology’s revolutionary design enables single port surgery, narrow access surgery, triangulation and 360-degree rotation. To date the team has used the new technology to perform:

  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Radical nephrectomy
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Pyeloplasty
  • Ureteroplasty
  • Ureteroplasty with mucosal graft

Surgical outcomes have been excellent, with zero conversions to multi-port or open surgical alternatives. Said Michael Stifelman, M.D., chair of urology and director of robotic surgery,
“The da Vinci SP technology is transformative as it enables our surgeons to perform the most complex surgeries in the hardest to reach places, using just one small incision.”

The FDA recently cleared the da Vinci SP for radical tonsillectomy and tongue base resection, and the medical center’s otolaryngology (ENT) specialists will begin using the single port technology by summer 2019. Said Brian Benton, M.D., “We are extremely excited to be able to use the new robot for throat and tongue cancer surgeries. The flexibility of these instruments will give us tremendous advantages over the older technology, allowing us to work easily within a very small space. Finally, something that works well for ENT procedures.”

The availability of this new technology to treat tonsil and tongue cancer is especially timely. Dr. Benton explains, “We are seeing a significant spike in tonsil cancer cases related to HPV. In fact, these cancers are outnumbering HPV cervical cancers. These patients are young, and it is important that we be able to operate on them so they can preserve their function and avoid getting radiation and chemotherapy treatment, which could have long term side effects as they get older.”

The medical center anticipates additional submissions for FDA approval in in a number of specialties, including colorectal surgery. If so, the colorectal team expects to be using the new platform as soon as possible. Said Dr. Stifelman,” All of our surgeons, regardless of their specialty, are always eager to use the latest and most effective technology to improve patient care. Innovation is in our DNA.”ha