Surgeons coming to Riverhead for robotic surgery training

Surgeons from across the country are coming to Riverhead for the opportunity to observe and learn how to do operating procedures using the da Vinci surgical system.

Peconic Bay Medical Center has been chosen by Intuitive Surgical, the maker of the da Vinci Si surgical system, as the first case observation site on Long Island, and one of only a few in the entire Northeast, according to a hospital release.

Starting Monday, visiting surgeons have been able to watch surgeries in real-time as Dr. Agostino Cervone, general surgeon at PBMC Health, explains the procedure he is performing and the techniques being used.

To use the machine, the 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 3D depth perception while operating, hospital officials said.

Participants can interact and ask questions as they observe, and then try out their skills on the hospital’s da Vinci skills simulator – which surgeons use as a training device master various robot-assisted surgery techniques.

According to the release from the hospital, the da Vinci surgical system uses single site incision, which eliminates the need for large incisions – reducing blood loss and tissue damage to a fraction of what happens in traditional surgery.

“By educating other physicians and surgeons about the latest advances in robotic surgery, we are ultimately helping more patients who will benefit from this type of surgery,” Dr. Cervone said.

“This is a major advancement for our hospital,” said Andrew Mitchell, hospital president and CEO. “Our robotic surgery program and highly skilled and dedicated team is committed to continually improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve through the pursuit of excellence in healthcare and state-of-the-art technology.”