OPMC Performs Clay County’s First Robotic Heller Myotomy
May 29, 2012
Orange Park, FL – Last week, a team of surgeons at Orange Park Medical Center performed Clay County’s first robotic Heller myotomy procedure. Drs. Steve Webb and Arun Rao of the area’s new Advanced Surgery Group utilized Orange Park Medical Center’s latest DaVinci Si surgical system for the minimally invasive operation. Orange Park Medical Center is now proud to offer this procedure using the safest methods available.
The Heller myotomy procedure is a treatment for achalasia, the most common functional disorder of the esophagus. It results from an inability of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, causing difficulty swallowing. Approximately 90% of patients achieve relief after a Heller myotomy procedure.
Before the 1990s introduction of a more minimally invasive approach, the operation was performed through an open incision in the chest. The procedure is now performed laparoscopically and robotically and medical literature supports a lower complication rate when performed with the DaVinci system.
When Drs. Steve Webb and Arun Rao used the DaVinci robotic system they were able to make precise dissection of tissues and delicate movements within narrow confines. This approach provides surgeons significant advantages including better visualization of the anatomy using 3D imaging technology and wristed instrumentation designed to articulate inside the body cavity. The patient advantages of this method include a shorter hospitalization, less pain, fewer and smaller scars, and shorter recovery time.
Said Dr. Webb of his experience at Orange Park Medical Center, “I was duly impressed by the clinical competency of the medical staff, nurses, and operating room technicians I worked with during my first case at the hospital. I have heard about all the changes going on at Orange Park, but was extremely surprised to see that my experience vastly exceeded my expectations.”
Achalasia affects approximately 1 out of 100,000 people and typically affects individuals in their 20’s and 30’s. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but could include trauma, stress, and certain parasitic infections. If left untreated, achalasia can lead to the severe dilation of the esophagus and patients are at an increased risk for developing esophageal cancer over time.