Robotic Surgery Program surpasses 100th case

June 24, 2014


Texas Children’s Hospital reached a milestone in early June when the 100th surgery using a Da Vinci Si robot was performed.

Not only was this an achievement for the Department of Surgery and the Pavilion for Women but it was also a cause for celebration because its usage sets the standard at Texas Children’s Hospital for pediatric minimally invasive reconstructive surgery, according to Dr. Chester Koh, director, Pediatric Robotic Surgery Program. The da Vinci Si robot enables the surgeon to use fully articulating instruments to operate on delicate structures and limited space in a child’s anatomy. Its magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist yet the surgeon is in complete control.

Where previously surgeons needed to make large incisions with their hands and a scalpel to reach internal organs such as the kidney, they can now use the robot for surgical maneuvers through tiny incisions. Pyeloplasty is the most common pediatric procedure performed with the robot. During this urologic procedure, surgeons correct a blockage or narrowing of the ureter where it leaves the kidney. Children benefit from robotic surgery because they have less post-operative pain with a corresponding decreased need for pain medications, faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

With the arrival of Dr. Patricio Gargollo, as director of the Complex Urogenital Reconstruction Program, the Pediatric Urology division now benefits from two pediatric surgeons who between them have performed more than 500 robotic surgery cases. Gargollo’s experience brings advanced robotic surgery skills to the team to treat patients who need complex reconstructive procedures such as bladder augmentation, continent catheterizable channels and bladder neck reconstruction.

Women who are patients at the Pavilion for Women benefit from robotic surgery also. “Robotic surgery benefits women who have certain procedures because the surgeon can make smaller incisions, which means a faster recovery time and better cosmetic appearance after surgery,” said obstetrician Dr. David Zepeda.

Surgeons from Pediatric Urology and Pediatric Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Pavilion for Women currently make use of the da Vinci Si robot.

The robotic surgery team includes:
Department of Surgery:

  • Dr. Darrell Cass
  • Dr. Patricio Gargollo
  • Dr. Nicolette Janzen
  • Dr. Chester Koh
  • Dr. Mark Mazziotti
  • Dr. Ashwin Pimpalwar
  • Dr. Abhishek Seth

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology:

  • Dr. Concepcion Diaz-Arrastia
  • Dr. Damla Dryden
  • Dr. William Gibbons
  • Dr. Ertug Kovanci
  • Dr. Celestine Tung
  • Dr. David Zepeda
  • Dr. Robert Zurawin

Having surpassed the 100th case at Texas Children’s Hospital, Koh and the team look forward to future milestones for the program.