At NorthShore, technological advances now allow surgeons to perform many procedures using minimally invasive techniques, such a laparoscopy and robotic assisted surgery. These innovations usually allow for smaller incisions, less bleeding and a shorter recovery time for patients to resume normal activities.
Laparoscopic Surgery involves several small incisions in which thin instruments, including a laparoscope (a small light with a camera attached), are inserted into the body. The camera lets physicians see into the body. Other instruments are inserted through the small incisions and used to remove the affected tissue or organ.
NorthShore is one of only a few hospitals in the country to offer the latest advancement in laparoscopic surgery: single-port laparoscopy. Single-port laparoscopy uses a single incision through a patient’s navel. It has important patient benefits, including little to no scarring, minor postoperative pain and a quicker recovery time. At NorthShore, Sangtae Park, MD, is one of only a handful of urologists nationwide performing single-port laparoscopic kidney surgery.
Robotic Surgery is one of the latest advancements in minimally invasive treatment options. For example, the most up-to-date da Vinci Si Surgical System used at NorthShore allows surgeons to perform a prostatectomy using dime-sized incisions.
The da Vinci Surgical System consists of an ergonomically designed console at which the surgeon sits, a mobile patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-resolution 3D vision system and robotically wristed instrumentation. The System is designed to seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into corresponding micro-movements of the miniaturized instruments positioned inside the patient. The instruments have more range of motion than the human hand, and a 3D camera delivers a highly magnified view of the operative field, enabling the surgeon to perform delicate tissue dissection and suture with added precision, even in confined spaces.
Image-Guided Ablative Surgery
Image-Guided Ablative Surgery allows surgeons to use advanced imaging techniques like CAT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds to image tumors and insert one or more needle probes into them. These probes can deliver either freezing or heat energy, thereby destroying the tumor without incisions or surgery. Typically patients can go home the same day or next day.
NorthShore Center for Simulation and Innovation (NCSI)
NorthShore is a leader in advancing minimally invasive and robotic surgery though the NorthShore Center for Simulation and Innovation (NCSI). This state-of-the-art center features 14 stations designed for leading-edge training of established surgeons, residents, medical students and nurses in a wide variety of surgical procedures.
Computerized mannequins allow for excellent simulation of a full range of real life situations—from a drop in heart rate to other potential difficulties the simulators can be used to teach surgeons how best to prevent complications as well as how to react to a variety of authentic surgical scenarios.
All new surgical techniques have a learning curve associated with them, and training in a lab complete with multiple simulation opportunities ensures that surgeons are experienced and adept at these sophisticated techniques before they enter the operating room.