Department of External Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 27, 2010
Contact: John P. Broder
Vice President-External Affairs


Doctors Use Robots to Execute Precision in this High-Performance, Minimally Invasive Technique A Milestone for NY-Area Healthcare

Mineola, NY – Winthrop-University Hospital, a leader in minimally invasive surgical techniques, is the first hospital on Long Island to perform Robotic Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) lobectomy utilizing the ultra high-tech daVinci Surgical System.

The first robotic-assisted lung surgery on Long Island was performed on August 17, 2010 by Board certified cardiothoracic surgeon John Goncalves, MD, with the support of a dedicated robotics team. This leading-edge procedure utilized the daVinci’s state-of-the-art capabilities – including 3-D High Definition visualization of the chest cavity and precise, flexible surgical tools – to perform minimally invasive surgery to remove a tumor from the lung of 79-year-old Franklin Square resident, Enrique Figueroa.

“Winthrop’s success in performing the first robotic VATS lobectomy with the daVinci is a tremendous milestone – not only for the Hospital’s growing robotics program, but also for lung surgery techniques across Long Island,” said Garry Schwall, Winthrop’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Following the success of Mr. Figuera's lung cancer surgery, Dr. Goncalves and his colleagues have performed several more robotic-assisted lung surgery cases, with the fifth and sixth taking place on Friday, September 24.

Traditional surgery in the chest cavity to remove masses in the lobe of the lung can be debilitating and often very painful. Surgeons must cut between the ribs in order to access the lung, leaving patients with a large incision on the side of the chest and a long and painful post-operative recovery. Lobectomy with the daVinci enabled Dr. Goncalves to remove a centralized tumor from Mr. Figueroa’s right lower lobe without the need for large incisions or spreading of the ribs.

“DaVinci surgery is improving u

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