The Friedman Center is proud to announce that it is now performing robotic-assisted breast reconstruction surgery. This revolutionary technology is providing patients better outcomes and shorter recovery times from reconstruction procedures.
What Is Robotic-assisted Surgery?
Robotic-assisted surgery is minimally invasive surgery that is done with the help of robotic technology. Rather than directly touching the patient, the surgeon uses a console to guide the robot through the procedure.
Although robotic capabilities are extremely useful, the robot itself is not actually performing the surgery. The surgeon is in control of the procedure the entire time.
Robotic Breast Reconstruction: the DIEP Flap Procedure
Robots can be used for a wide range of surgical procedures. At the Friedman Center, robotic-assisted surgery is exclusively used for the DIEP flap procedure, which uses a flap of the patient’s own abdominal tissue to rebuild the breast.
The DIEP flap is considered the gold standard of breast reconstruction, and robotic-assisted surgery takes this procedure to the next level in standards of care.
Benefits of Robotic-assisted Surgery
There are many benefits to performing surgery with robotic assistance:
- Surgery can be performed with fewer and smaller incisions when using a robot.
- In the DIEP flap procedure, robotic-assisted surgery reduces the risk of damage to the patient’s abdominal wall that can result in abdominal hernia and bulging.
- Robotic-assisted surgeries have a lower chance of infection.
- Because the procedures are minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery can decrease recovery time, especially when used in conjunction with an Enhanced Recovery Program (ERP) protocol.
The Technology behind Robotic-assisted Surgery
The Friedman Center uses da Vinci surgical systems technology to perform robotic-assisted DIEP flap procedures. The da Vinci robot acts as an extension of a surgeon’s eyes and hands, allowing them to use their expertise to guide the robot but with greater precision than they would have performing surgery manually.
The da Vinci technology includes a visual system that magnifies the surgical area to 10x what the human eye is capable of seeing. It also incorporates instruments that are smaller and have a greater range of motion than human hands. These features allow the surgeon to perform microsurgical procedures such as the DIEP flap through extremely small incisions.
More than 10 million procedures have been completed with da Vinci surgical systems worldwide.
Robotic DIEP Flap Surgery at the Friedman Center
The first robotic-assisted DIEP flap procedure in the Northwell Health system, and the first performed on Long Island, took place in June 2022. Friedman Center surgeon Neil Tanna, working with Dr. Jesse Selber of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, operated on Mary Leonardi at Glen Cove Hospital.
The procedure was considered extremely successful, and Ms. Leonardi was discharged pain-free to continue her recovery after only two days in the hospital.
The Friedman Center continues to offer robotic-assisted DIEP flap surgery and is excited to be at the forefront of this evolution in breast reconstruction.