Robotic Surgery Comes to SGMC

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Robot-assisted surgery is on its way to South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC).

Using a machine called the da Vinci Surgical System, seven area doctors will perform mostly gynecological and cardiothoracic surgeries with it.

Doctors say these procedures are less invasive than traditional surgery. The benefits include a shorter hospital stay and less bleeding.

Dr. Alex Culbreth III, a physician with Southern OB/GYN, is one of the doctors who will be performing robotic surgery at SGMC, "We're taking smaller incisions, a centimeter to two centimeters. And although we're doing the same surgery on the inside of the abdominal cavity, we avoid the larger incision."

Doctors say the first surgical robotics procedure will be a hysterectomy on April 18.

They say outpatient care is only about 10 to 12 hours, rather than the typical two to three-day hospital stay.

The machine cost $1.5 million and was paid for by the hospital using a Certificate of Need (CON), said Dr. Culbreth.

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