11/18/12 8:00am
11/18/2012 8:00 AM

In May 2010, Peconic Bay Medical Center became Suffolk County’s first community hospital to add a da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to its medical staff.

Before that, the only hospital with the surgical robot was Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Now, the Riverhead hospital has upgraded to what officials there describe as “the state-of-the-art da Vinci Si system, which will expand the medical center’s capabilities to perform increasingly complex surgeries.”

The older model was turned in for the newer technology, a hospital spokeswoman said.

“We are thrilled to have brought this newest advancement in technology to our community,” says Dr. Richard Kubiak of Peconic Bay, adding that the Si unit promises to expand on all the benefits already achieved with the original system.

“Our new unit is a dual console system, says Dr. Kubiak, which will enable two of our surgeons to team up on a complex surgery.

The da Vinci uses state-of-the-art technology to remotely perform prostate, gynecological and renal operations, among other procedures, hospital officials said.

To use the machine, a surgeon, sitting at a separate console, operates two remote robot hands via video screen, hand controls and foot pedals. There are two monitors, one for each eye, giving the doctor 3-D depth perception while operating.

Andrew Mitchell, the president and CEO of Peconic Bay Health, the hospital’s parent organization, said the new, dual console system “will also enable us to expand the number of great surgeons who perform advanced surgeries in our region, which will be a great benefit to all the people of our communities.”

About the da Vinci robot

• The system was named after artist Leonardo da Vinci, who is credited with inventing the first robot.

• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for use in operations in 2000.

• More than 1,000 units have been sold worldwide for operation in hospitals.

• The robot costs about $1.3 million, in addition to several hundred thousand dollars in annual maintenance fees.

mwhite@timesreview.com

See a video demonstration at Peconic Bay from 2010:

10/07/12 8:00am
10/07/2012 8:00 AM
PBMC, Martha Clara, Joint Replacement

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | PBMC physical therapist Annette Horan (center) dances with one of her former patients at Friday’s Joint Replacement BBQ Reunion and Barn Dance.

Roger McCabe, 80, of Calverton had his right knee replacement surgery done last year by Dr. Michael Ciminiello at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

When asked how it went, he summed it up simply, saying, “It was a piece of cake.”

He took no pain killers or other medications and never had to resort to using a cane, he said.

“What did it for me was the physical therapy. The doctor called me an ideal patient,” Mr. McCabe said. “He told me it is not going to be easy but you have to work at it and I did.”

Mr. McCabe was headed to Peconic Bay’s 8th annual Joint Replacement Reunion Barbecue and Barn Dance event Friday afternoon at Martha Clara Vineyards.

There were about 400 former patients and 250 guests and medical staff in attendance, said Paul Furbeck, the assistant director of rehabilitation at the hospital, who came up with the reunion idea to celebrate the patients’ renewed freedom of movement and improved quality of life.

Peconic Bay, a destination hospital for joint replacement surgery, earned an award called the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Total Joint Replacement for Hip and Knee last October.

“Last October we were the third on Long Island and fifth in New York State to get this designation,” Mr. Furbeck said.

“We get attached to the patients who go to therapy,” he continued. “We get close to them and want to see how they are doing and get feedback on how to improve. It really is a celebration of how well they are doing.

“It speaks to how the hospital is providing better  and better care each year. It is blossoming into a great program. We are attracting people from all over Long Island and the tri-state area.”

Since it is an elective surgery “people are going to go wherever the care is good,” he said.

After surgery, it is a two- to three-day hospital stay, then with a stay in the inpatient rehab unit from a week to 10 days.

The trend is to get patients home faster.

“We get then up and going as soon as possible,” Mr. Furbeck said.

Hospital officials said Peconic Bay now has 13 orthopedic surgeons on staff.

photo@timesreview.com

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