Business news, Sept. 27

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center now using da Vinci Surgical System


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When it comes to meeting the needs of patients, Ephraim McDowell Health continues to bring cutting-edge technology to the community. That technology now includes the latest model of the da Vinci Surgical System, and it will be used in many of the surgeries performed at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. 

 Use of the da Vinci robot will benefit patients, as it means less blood loss, less need for pain medication and a shorter hospital stay. The surgical system also benefits surgeons by providing enhanced vision of the surgical area as well as affording enhanced precision and control of the system’s instruments.

 “The da Vinci Surgical System will change cancer care here at Ephraim McDowell, especially colon and rectal cancer,” said Swope Munday, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon. “It makes us competitive with other hospitals in the state, and it helps us work with more precision in the O.R.”

 The da Vinci Surgical System was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. Since then, it has been used with more than three million patients worldwide. The Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation made a $1 million investment toward the purchase of the da Vinci XI model, which is currently used by only six other hospitals in Kentucky. 

 Surgeons see robotic surgery as the next step up from laparoscopic surgery, said Joyce Young, director of Surgical Services at the Regional Medical Center. She explained that both types of surgery are minimally invasive procedures that use tiny incisions. The added advantage with robotic surgery is that the system features a magnified, three-dimensional, high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments.

 “With laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon performs back-and-forth movements with the surgical instrument, while the da Vinci system provides a 180-degree wrist movement,” Young explained.

 Dr. Munday noted, “With the da Vinci, we get back our 3D vision and depth perception along with the wrist movement. It gives us the advantages of laparoscopic surgery but with smaller incisions.”

 Thanks to a generous gift provided by the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation, one of the operating rooms at the Regional Medical Center was expanded from 200 square feet to 525 square feet in order to accommodate the surgical system. 

 Young said the da Vinci Surgical System will be used for general surgeries such as hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, bowel surgeries and low anterior resections. In the future, it will also be used for urologic and gynecologic surgeries including prostate removals, kidney cancer and hysterectomies. 

 “The articulation of the instruments and visualization of the surgical area are a lot better with the robot,” said David Montgomery, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon. “This system benefits patients because they have less incisional pain.”

 Munday said the greatest benefit he sees for patients is a shorter hospital stay when the robot is used. He explained that laparoscopic surgery for a lower anterior resection typically requires a patient to stay in the hospital up to two weeks. With the use of the da Vinci, a patient’s hospital stay for that procedure has been reduced to three days, he said.

 “The purchase of the da Vinci Surgical System shows that Ephraim McDowell is invested in staying competitive and in being the best in health care,” Munday said.

 In addition to the da Vinci robot, the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation has funded $2.5-million in health care needs in the past five years.  This current donation to the medical center further demonstrates to those who charitably support the growth of health care services through the Foundation that critical needs are being funded. One hundred percent of every donation goes to the funding of health care needs.

Kiwanis Club meeting

The Kiwanis Club of Danville program on Sept. 14 was presented by Mack Kersey, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones of Danville. Kersey shared some excellent advice about how individuals can manage finances and investments.  

To learn more about Kiwanis Club of Danville – our opportunities for learning, fellowship and service to the Danville area – please comment or message us here. Also, feel free to email or