Robotic Surgery Pioneer Reaches Historic Milestone With 5,000th Case

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ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 27, 2011 – Today over 85% of all prostate removal surgeries are done using robotic surgery technology, but Dr. Vipul Patel, medical director of the Global Robotics Institute at Florida Hospital, has been using these techniques since it was approved by the FDA over 10 years ago. As a leader and innovator in this field, Dr. Patel is preparing to perform his record breaking 5,000th robotic prostate removal surgery, a milestone which no other physician has achieved. “The robotic radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) was the first robotic surgery frontier,” said Dr. Patel. “But robotics has expanded rapidly in 10 years to include gynecologic, thoracic, cardiac, bariatric and head and neck surgeries.”

As early as 2001, Dr. Patel was using this minimally invasive technology to lessen the recovery time of his patients, shorten their hospital stays and improve their clinical outcomes. At that time, only a few hundred physicians worldwide performed robotic surgery. As more patients began demanding to have their surgeries performed robotically, the number of physicians trained in this technology has grown.

Today, robotic surgeries have become commonplace with many thousands of physicians worldwide offering these procedures. Being one of the pioneers of these robotic surgeries, Dr. Patel has certainly had a tremendous impact on the industry. Surgeons who he has trained and his colleagues agree his impact on robotic surgery is vast. “Learning robotic surgery from Dr. Patel is like learning basketball from Michael Jordan…but Dr. Patel is still on the cutting edge,” said Dr. Bernardo Rocco, a former fellow of Dr. Patel’s and now one of the leaders of robotics surgery in Italy. “Dr. Vipul Patel has had a profound impact on patient care using robotic technology,” said colleague Dr. Raju Thomas, professor and chairman of the Department of Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine. “Innovative, trail blazing, resourceful, a mentor to many, persistent and a scientific mind are a few words that describe Dr. Patel.” Dr. Patel is also part of taking robotic surgery to the next frontier.

In 2010, Florida Hospital Celebration Health was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to create a curriculum that all surgeons will go through to be certified to perform robotic surgery and to further research robotic telesurgery. Through this technology, physicians will be able to perform surgeries at a great distance from their patients, for example, on soldiers in combat zones overseas. Currently, the institute is collecting date on communication lag between medical facilities in order to determine what procedures can be safely performed using this technology. For media inquiries only, contact Florida Hospital Media Relations at Call407-303-8217.

AdventHealth Celebration is a leading-edge destination hospital that specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures. This health and wellness center provides inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency care, maternity, cardiac services, diagnostic, catheterization, weight management, bariatric and wellness programs, women's and men's health programs, as well as primary care and specialty physicians on-site.

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