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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09/24/11 2:24pm
09/24/2011 2:24 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | PBMC and local officials cut the ribbon on the medical center's new orthopedic surgery center Friday.

Peconic Bay Medical Center’s new Krauss Center for Joint Replacements celebrated an opening ceremony last Friday afternoon in Riverhead, declaring the center’s program a leader in orthopedic procedures that will be mimicked throughout the world.

Hospital officials cut a ribbon to signify the event at the Krauss Center, named for orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eugene Krauss. In the past five years, Dr. Krauss has performed 600 joint replacements at PBMC without a single incident of infection, officials said.

His team includes some doctors with whom he has worked before, and he applauded the entire PBMC organization for its staffing of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, physical therapists and office workers.

The new facility is located about two miles west of the hospital in the professional complex on Commerce Drive off Route 58. It employs about 50, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists and office workers, said hospital president and CEO Andrew Mitchell.

The concept began with a chance ferry ride between Orient Point and New London in 2005, when Dr. Krauss and Alan Schechter, the hospital’s executive vice president, began talking about what it would take to expand PBMC’s orthopedic surgical unit.

Today, the new Krauss Center for Joint Replacements has enabled hospital officials to brag that they have the largest such program in all of Suffolk County, Mr. Mitchell said.

The center is where patients first are diagnosed and where they receive post-operative care, including physical therapy, while the surgeries are done at PBMC’s Kanas Center for Advanced Surgery.

When Dr. Krauss first came to PBMC about 10 years ago, there was only one orthopedic surgeon and surgical suites were booked for such procedures only five days a month. If a patient needed an orthopedic procedure at any other time, it meant transport to Stony Brook University Hospital, he said. Today, there are 24 orthopedic surgeons on staff.

“To say that he is a man with a vision is an understatement,” Mr. Mitchell said about Dr. Krauss.

What’s special about the Krauss Center isn’t the number of joint replacements it tackles or simply the skill of the surgeons, Dr. Krauss said. It’s the organization of the center, from the time a patient first enters the facility through to post-operative care, he said. His team of doctors, nurses, physical therapists and office staff make the center special, he said.

Dr. Krauss will be heading to a conference in London to talk about the design of the new center and is also being invited to speak with other medical groups in the United States that want to try to mirror the Krauss Center’s organizational and business plan, Mr. Mitchell said.

“Our program is profitable and sustainable,” Dr. Krauss said.

“It’s about taking care of them so they leave here healthy,” he said about the patients. With the hospital’s Kanas Surgical Suite and its state-of-the-art equipment, PBMC is becoming a destination for patients who live west of Riverhead and need such procedures, he said.

“It’s a market opportunity,” Dr. Krauss said.

He described the surgical suite as the finest in the tri-state area.

When Dr. Krauss isn’t in Riverhead, he’s a frequent traveler to West Africa, where he and a medical team he has recruited perform joint replacement surgeries pro bono.

To not be able to walk is a crisis in any society, Dr. Krauss said. But in areas where poverty abounds and political factions make everyday life dangerous, those who can’t walk are largely thrust aside by society, he said.

PBMC is also eyeing other parcels in Riverhead for possible further expansion, officials said.

Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) said he learned from Mr. Mitchell that a discussion is taking place about PBMC perhaps taking over the area along Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead, just across from the hospital complex. A medical center building on that site encompasses North Fork Radiology, among other offices.

“We’re expanding everywhere,” Mr. Mitchell said in response to a question about the potential project. But he cautioned that at this stage the idea is only conceptual; how and when it might occur hasn’t moved beyond the recognition that as the hospital offers more services, it needs more room.

jlane@timesreview.com

03/18/11 12:06pm
03/18/2011 12:06 PM

Peconic Bay Medical Center will host a blood drive in its second floor conference rooms on Monday, March 21 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Blood donors must be in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be between the ages of 17 and 75. With parental permission, 16-year-olds may also donate. Anyone 76 or older may be a blood donor, but must have a physician’s note of approval. Anyone who has had a tattoo within the the past 12 months isn’t eligible to donate blood.

Bring a picture of signature identification and a  Social Security number. Call 1-800-688-0900.