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HYGEIA Hospital Tirana
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First Robotic Procedure for Ovarian Cancer in Greece Using the Latest Generation da Vinci Xi System

06 June 2018

A robotic procedure for debulking of ovarian cancer was performed for the first time in Greece at HYGEIA Hospital, using the latest generation da Vinci Xi system.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Georgios Hilaris – Director of HYGEIA Hospital’s 2nd Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Faculty of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Stanford Univesity, USA – and his team.

The patient recovered well and was discharged from hospital 24 hours later, in excellent clinical condition.

As Dr. Hilaris noted, “Often patients with advanced stage ovarian (or fallopian or peritoneal) cancer initially undergo chemotherapy, while surgery follows a few months later. In most cases, this is open surgery, performed with a large vertical incision on the abdomen, and is known as ‘interval debulking’ or ‘cytoreduction’. The treatment plan usually concludes with additional adjuvant chemotherapy. This patient underwent robotic surgery for this procedure. Specifically, the lymph nodes of the pelvis, aorta and inferior vena cava, to the height of the renal veins, were completely dissected. In addition, all residual lumps were completely removed from the abdomen, as well as from the tissue that covers the intestines (radical omentectomy). These types of tissue may have evident tumors or even microscopic metastases, meaning surviving cancer cells that have not been eradicated after the completion of primary chemotherapy. Subsequently, the removal of such tissues (cytoreduction) or visible tumors (debulking) significantly improves disease prognosis and response to adjuvant chemotherapy.”

The benefits of laparoscopic surgery and robot-assisted techniques, such as this one, include fast recovery of patients who are already weakened by chemotherapy, and faster reinstatement of postoperative chemotherapy, which normally is delayed by 4-6 weeks, until the incision has healed.

Minimally invasive cutting-edge technology, such as the da Vinci Xi robotic system, offers the chance to suitably selected patients with advanced stage gynecologic cancer to recover faster and conclude their treatment quicker, with better quality of life. This procedure is only being performed in the last 5 years at major cancer centers in the USA.