Healthy Connections - The tiny cuts producing big patient benefits
February 12, 2021
Minimally Invasive Robotic - Assisted Surgery
Thanksgiving is all about traditions: family gatherings, football, and, unfortunately for some of us, an upset tummy from too much turkey and trimmings. But for Richard Covelli of Kenosha, the holiday three years ago was completely different. “That’s when my health spiraled downhill,” Richard said. Richard had suffered stomach aches for years, but on Thanksgiving Day, 2016, severe abdominal pain landed him in the Froedtert Kenosha Hospital Emergency Department, where a CT scan revealed a serious problem. “The ED doctor came in and said, ‘We found the root of your problems: a hole in your intestines,’” Richard remembered. Due to his complicated medical condition, minimally invasive surgery was not an option for Richard, so he underwent two traditional abdominal surgeries. For Richard that meant weeks in the hospital and months at home and off work. Almost a year later, nearly fully recovered from the surgeries, he was back in the hospital with multiple hernias, a common result of the large incisions necessary to repair his bowels.
A DIFFERENT TYPE OF SURGERY Another operation was required to fix Richard's hernias, but this time, the procedure was entirely different: minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery performed by Dr. Majed Jandali, a general surgeon on the Froedtert South Medical Staff. “This surgery allows me to do what I’ve always done, only better,” Dr. Jandali said. Dr. Jandali and his colleague Dr. Mustafa Badrudduja, also on the Froedtert South Medical Staff, have performed more than two thousand minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgeries in two, state-of-the-art surgical suites integrated with the da Vinci Xi Robot at Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Outpatient Surgery Center. “It’s a tool that permits me to see better and therefore perform more precise surgical work,” Dr. Jandali said. “I can see each nerve, each blood vessel, and each organ. It’s much more precise.” This minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery makes it possible to repair hernias, remove gallbladders, and perform many other general surgeries through abdominal incisions that are tiny, yet produce huge benefits for patients. “They’re very small incisions that healed up so completely,” Richard Covelli said, “that I really have to look closely to find them. With the smaller incisions, obviously it takes less time to recover, because there’s less healing time.”
FASTER RECOVERY, LESS PAIN, FEWER DRUGS “A patient who undergoes open bowel surgery will be in the hospital about ten days,” Dr. Jandali said. “With minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery, it’s two to three days. Patients go home and get back to work faster.” There are also lower risks of infection, fewer problems with wounds that are slow to heal, or hernias that can result from large incisions. “And definitely a lot less pain, that’s for sure,” Dr. Jandali said. “The next day, pain is under control with medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol, with much less narcotic pain medication such as morphine that open surgery requires.” “The robotic-assisted surgery, compared to making a big incision, is hands-down better,” Richard observed. “If you want to get back on the road to recovery faster, that’s the way to do it.”
GALLBLADDER PROBLEMS RESOLVED Other patients wholeheartedly agree. For example: a Pleasant Prairie man had suffered gallbladder attacks for a couple years, but said last Fall's was the worst. “That one just absolutely kicked my butt,” he said. “My pain started at one in the morning and it didn’t release until nine the next morning. At that point I made the decision to go to the hospital.” At Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital, Dr. Badrudduja removed the patient's gallbladder during minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery. “Robotic-assisted surgery allows me to do everything that I did beforehand, but better,” Dr. Badrudduja said. “The term robot is sort of a misnomer. It’s not a robot that’s doing anything by itself. It’s an advanced instrument that I am in 100% control of.” “The biggest advantage of this surgery is the patient’s recovery,” Dr. Badrudduja agreed. “I’ve had so many different patients that I could tell that their recovery was night and day different. When a patient comes to see me in the office even a week after surgery not in any pain, able to move around, walk upright, back to spending time with their friends and family – to me, that’s the biggest difference.” “I think I’ve had more pain after shoveling snow or splitting firewood, than I did from this procedure,” the patient said. “The recovery is minimal. There’s little to no pain. And you’re able to recover quickly and get back to your life."
NATIONAL LEADERS CLOSE TO HOME “If you look around the country,” observed Dr. Jandali, “we are amongst the top surgeons who are performing minimally invasive, robotic-assisted general surgery. Due to our high quality and volume, we are teaching other surgeons nationwide to perform these surgeries.” “We have surgeons from all across the country who come to visit us to see what we are able to offer our patients,” Dr. Badrudduja said. “It gives me a feeling of being on the forefront of a new technology. Having other surgeons come to see how it works gives me great pride, because I know what I’m doing for my patients is probably much better than what they would receive in other parts of the country.” “I’m pleased to learn that Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital is a leader in this area,” one patient observed, “especially considering where we’re located between two major metropolitan areas. I’m thrilled that we have this kind of technology – and accomplished general surgeons to use it - available here in Kenosha County.” Jandali Surgical Associates is currently located at Froedtert Kenosha Hospital, but will be relocating to Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Outpatient Surgery Center on January 1, 2020. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact: Jandali Surgical Associates, S.C., Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Outpatient Surgery Center, 9555 - 76th Street, Suite 4880 | Phone: 262-551-4002 | jandalisurgical.com