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Fox Chase Cancer Center Offers da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery for Gynecologic Cancers

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2007) - Surgery is often a necessary step in the treatment of women with gynecologic cancers, but traditional open surgery requires a four- to five-day hospital stay and an extended recovery at home. To reduce the recovery time and improve other outcomes, Fox Chase Cancer Center now offers these women da Vinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery.

Fox Chase offers da Vinci robotic surgeries for cancers requiring the removal of the uterus (partial hysterectomy), uterus and cervix (total hysterectomy), fallopian tubes and/or ovaries. The da Vinci system also can be used to help determine the stage of the cancer.

Performing da Vinci surgery usually requires only three to four small incisions, each less than an inch in size. The smaller incisions, advanced optics and superior instrumentation can mean less blood loss and a more precise surgery.

"Using da Vinci technology, we're able to offer a less invasive alternative to open surgery," said , chief of gynecologic surgical oncology at Fox Chase. "This minimally invasive approach replicates the capabilities of an open surgical procedure, without the six- to 10 inch-incision."

Morgan says the "robot" is superior to traditional laparoscopic surgery because it improves visualization, dexterity, precision and control. In addition to less bleeding, the benefits of robotic surgery compared to open surgery include reduced pain, shorter hospital stay (one to two days instead of three to five days), quicker recovery (one to two weeks versus four to six weeks) and an earlier return to normal activity.

Not all patients are appropriate candidates for minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, Morgan noted. It may not be suitable for women who have had prior pelvic radiation or surgery. Open surgery also remains the best option for most women with ovarian cancer or large tumors that would require larger incisions to remove.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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