Celebrating our robotic-assisted surgery milestones

Friday, June 1, 2018

By: Jeff Ash

At Aurora BayCare Medical Center, robotic-assisted surgery is neither new nor a novelty.


For more than a decade, our surgeons have been leaders in using state-of-the-art robotic-assisted surgery technology to provide innovative procedures to people with a wide variety of medical issues.


Surgery is never routine – especially for the person having surgery – but our precise robotic-assisted procedures and our surgeons’ expertise with them have set a standard of excellence.  


We’re proud to celebrate milestones reached by two of our robotic-assisted surgery specialists.


Dr. Peter R. Johnson, an Aurora BayCare gynecologic oncologist, has performed 2,000 robotic-assisted surgeries, reaching that milestone on May 2. He was the first surgeon to perform robotic-assisted gynecologic cancer surgery in Wisconsin, doing so at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee in 2006. He also is a nationally known instructor for robotic surgery and is renowned for his expertise in complex surgical cases.


“I have a great team around me, great support,” Johnson says. “First, for getting the education to do this. Secondly, continuing to get state-of-the-art equipment as I’m moving along, getting better at this, needing the things as new techniques come up, needing to get those instruments and they were provided to me. But more importantly, the team around me, making sure my patients were well cared for from before they even came in, to the operating room, to the recovery room, to the follow-through.” 


Dr. Cynthia L. Geocaris, an Aurora BayCare general and vascular surgeon, has performed 1,000 robotic-assisted surgeries, reaching that milestone on May 15.


Last year, Geocaris was chosen as the first mentor for robotic general surgery in Wisconsin, training surgeons nationwide on minimally-invasive hernia repair using robotic-assisted procedures. Fewer than 2 percent of all active surgeons in the nation qualify to lead mentor sites, according to Intuitive Medical, manufacturer of the da Vinci® Surgical System and originator of the mentoring program


Also last year, Aurora BayCare Medical Center became the first Wisconsin mentor site for training physicians in the use of the da Vinci system for general surgery.


 “This designation is a real testament to Aurora BayCare’s commitment to medical excellence and the advancement of surgery in northeastern Wisconsin,” Geocaris says.


About robotic-assisted surgery


Robotic-assisted surgery is often preferred when surgery is intricate or complex. It allows surgeons to make smaller incisions and be more precise. Magnified, high-resolution 3D images help surgeons better visualize treatment areas and give them more control over procedures.


We offer robotic-assisted procedures for cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers and some non-cancerous gynecologic conditions; hernia repair, colon and rectal surgery, weight-loss surgery, the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease; prostate gland, adrenal gland, gallbladder and spleen removal; full or partial removal of pancreas or stomach; and partial removal of the kidney.


The benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include shorter recovery time, shorter hospital stays, significantly less pain, less bleeding and scarring, and a reduced risk of infection or other complications.

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