May 6, 2019

“CAMC has a very rich and strong academic history of minimally-invasive surgery,” said Gina Busch, MD, gynecologic surgeon. “We were literally the institution that brought minimally-invasive surgery to the state.”

“If you looked back and studied all the data, [CAMC] has probably been the one hospital in West Virginia which has performed the most minimally-invasive operations,” said Edward Tiley III, MD, general and vascular surgeon.

CAMC’s board-certified physicians are recognized leaders who have introduced new surgical methods and perfected minimally-invasive techniques in nearly every type of procedure, from spine surgery and hernia repair to hysterectomy, cardiothoracic surgery, gallbladder surgery and orthopedic procedures. 

30YearsofMinimallyInvasiveSurgery%20375x189.jpgMinimally-invasive surgery offers significant advantages to patients who are candidates for the less invasive treatment, including small incisions, fewer stitches, shorter hospital stays, less pain, less scarring, less damage to healthy tissue and faster recovery than traditional, open surgery.

“Minimally-invasive surgery has gained a lot more acceptance,” said Antonios Chryssos, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon. “More and more surgeons learn how to do these types of procedures because now we have results – outcomes that demonstrate we can do the same procedure through a smaller incision with just as good outcomes, and the functional result is just as good but the patients can do things sooner.”

Minimally-invasive surgery began decades ago with the introduction of laparoscopy, which is a surgical procedure performed through one or more small incisions using small tubes, cameras and surgical instruments. The next wave of minimally-invasive techniques saw the creation of robotic-assisted surgery, during which surgeon’s hands control a robotic device to perform the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched accuracy and dexterity. Surgeons at CAMC perform robotic-assisted surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System.

“Our robotics program has been here since 2006, and we were the first in the region to have the robotics program,” said Stephen Bush, MD, obstetrician and gynecologic surgeon.

Patients undergoing gynecology procedures such as hysterectomy and fibroid removal; urology procedures such as prostatectomy and kidney and bladder surgeries; and many general surgery procedures such as bariatric, colon and hernia surgery, are potential candidates for da Vinci surgery. 

“We have recently invested in the newest and most advanced technologies with new robotics coming to Charleston, and that’ll do nothing but improve treatment for patients in our communities and this part of the state,” Tiley said. “As our hospital continues to invest in these new instruments, it makes it so much easier for patients to undergo complex operations.”

CAMC’s history as a pioneer in minimally-invasive technology, as well as its commitment to staying current on the latest tools and techniques, also has enabled its skilled doctors to help train the next generation of surgeons. “We teach our colleagues, residents and medical students on robotics, as well as minimally-invasive surgery,” Busch said.

Minimally-invasive surgery is not new to CAMC, having been performed here for decades; but CAMC has embraced its adoption as a standard of care for patients and continues to be a statewide leader in the field.

“Patients don’t have to leave West Virginia – or even this area – for the best surgical care,” Tiley said. “We’re doing these cutting-edge, minimally-invasive procedures right here at CAMC.”

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