Doctors to host robotics event

1 of 2

Dr. David Seaman


Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Area residents who have questions about robotic surgery can learn more about the procedure on Friday at a Lunch and Learn Event sponsored by Nash UNC Health Care.

Dr. Gordon L. Mathes Jr of Rocky Mount Urology and Dr. David S. Seaman of Nash Surgical Associates will be speaking at the “All About Robotic Surgery” Lunch and Learn Seminar from noon to 1 p.m. Friday in the auditorium in the main hospital building. The doctors will discuss the types of robotic surgery offered at Nash UNC Health Care’s Mayo Surgical Pavilion and answer questions posed by attendees.

Lunch will be provided free at the seminar, but participants need to register in advance. 

“The Rocky Mount community should know that its community hospital has this innovative technology available for surgical procedures, which means patients can keep their health care local and reduce the burden of travel,” Mathes said in a press release from the hospital.

Seaman said that more than 165 robotic surgeries are performed at Nash UNC each year, and he wants to educate the public on the benefits of robotic surgery. Robotic surgery is performed frequently at Nash UNC for gall bladder removal, prostate surgery, kidney surgery, hernia repair, hysterectomy and many other procedures.

“One of the first things I explain to patients is that Nash UNC’s da Vinci robotic system is never on its own. This robot serves only as an extension of the surgeon′s skills, helping to provide maximum range of motion with unprecedented control and precision,” Seaman said in the release.

With robotic surgery, the surgeon operates at a console near the patient, using hand controls to manipulate a camera, lights and miniaturized surgical instruments while watching a high-definition monitor, the release said. 

Every movement the surgeon makes with the master controls is replicated by the robotic arms and can be scaled down to achieve even greater precision and accuracy, while providing a full 360-degree rotation of instruments. The computer also is able to eliminate all human tremor as it transfers wrist-like movements to the instruments, the release said.

Mathes said that patients can immediately recognize the benefits of a robot-assisted procedure — smaller incisions, faster recovery, less pain and discomfort and reduced need for narcotic pain relievers. Other benefits, which might not initially be obvious, are a shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, less risk of infections, significantly reduced blood loss and potential need for blood transfusions during surgery, Mathes added.

Seaman said robotic surgery is far less invasive than traditional surgery, where incisions up to 12 inches are sometimes required to see and reach organs.

“Laparoscopic surgery — where the laparoscope, a small camera, and surgical tools are inserted through small incisions — was a tremendous advance in surgical options. Robotic surgery, combining the best of laparoscopy with digital robotics, is now the least invasive of all,” Seaman said.

Robotic surgery is also sometimes better for surgeons as well, especially during lengthy procedures. The console station also provides ergonomically designed, comfortable seating and positioning, keeping the surgeon from having to maintain awkward or difficult positions over a surgical site.

For more information about robotic surgery, register for the Friday Lunch and Learn seminar by visiting nashunchealthcare.org/Events or by calling 962-8781.