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The Future of Surgery Is Here

While prostatectomies and hysterectomies have both been available in Tarrant County for decades, the acquisition of new robotic surgery equipment — the da Vinci® Surgical System — is taking these procedures to the next level.

Beginning in May, Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital and Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital both began performing prostatectomies (removal of part, or all, of the prostate gland) and hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) with minimally invasive techniques using the da Vinci® Surgical System. As a result, patients have smaller incisions, less pain and are able to resume their normal activities within a shorter amount of time.

“The da Vinci® Surgical System is one of the greatest surgical advances that has been developed in the past 20 years,” says Kenneth Hancock, M.D., OB/GYN on the medical staff at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. “We’re thrilled that we’re able to bring technology of this level to the residents of Tarrant County.”

How Does It Work?

The da Vinci® system is a surgeon-controlled tool that allows minimally invasive surgery to be performed more accurately. The surgeon sits at a console at the patient’s bedside and places his hands on two controllers. As the surgeon watches the surgery on a high-definition television monitor, the controllers translate his or her hand movements to the surgical instruments attached to the robot.

“The smaller surgical instruments have greater mobility in the body’s tight spaces than surgeons are usually able to get with laparoscopic surgery,” says Todd Young, D.O., urologist on the medical staff at Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital. “As a result, the da Vinci® system allows surgeons to have better control and precision than we would typically have on our own.”


According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. While a prostatectomy can successfully remove the prostate and cancer, many men who undergo traditional, open prostatectomies suffer from side effects of urinary incontinence or impotence.

“When we perform surgery using da Vinci®,” Young says, “the precision and maneuverability of the robot allow us to dramatically reduce the risk of surgery-related complications.”


While the vast majority of hysterectomies are still accomplished through large incisions, many women today are opting to have the surgery done with less invasive techniques. With the da Vinci® system, the surgeon can perform a hysterectomy through incisions
that are less than two centimeters long, which allows women to recover more quickly with fewer complications.

“This technology truly offers a new generation of women’s gynecological surgery,” Hancock says. “The advancements it offers both to the patient and the physician are remarkable.”

To learn more about scheduling robotic surgery at either Harris Methodist Fort Worth or Harris Methodist Southwest hospitals, call 1-888-4-HARRIS (1-888-442-7747).

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