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Lebanon VA Medical Center acquires robotic surgery system


June 3, 2021

Lebanon , PA — Lebanon VAMC will begin using a da Vinci robotic assisted surgical system later this month, providing benefits to Veterans like shorter hospital stays and faster-less painful recovery, according to VA surgeons.

The system will be used in urology, colorectal and general surgery for procedures like hernia repair, colectomies, cholecystectomies (gall bladder removals), and prostatectomies.

This cutting-edge technology has humans managing it.

“The robot is like an extension of my hands,” explained Dr. Thomas Clements, a urologist trained on the machine. “It does not make any decisions on its own. This makes most patients more comfortable with the technology. I am very happy to be able to offer this option to my patients.”

The investment comes at a time when robotic surgery is becoming more commonplace, said Dr. Bryan Pilkington, a general surgeon. “However, this machine is the most advanced robotic surgical platform on the market, and we are really excited about having it here,” he said.

Lebanon VAMC performed more than 4,750 surgeries in 2019. The facility intends to grow its robotic surgery program.

“The hospital has chosen to make an investment like this to better serve our Veterans,” said Dr. Carl Reese, Associate Chief of Staff for Surgery, and an Army Veteran. “That is our top priority here. I am proud of the caring staff of medical professionals here for continuing to evolve and embrace new technologies.”

The first robotic surgery using the da Vinci system is scheduled for June 11.

Lebanon VA Medical Center is one of 170 medical centers in the nation with the sole purpose of providing world-class medical care to America’s Veterans. Lebanon VAMC serves a nine-county area in South Central Pennsylvania covering Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill, and York counties. Lebanon VAMC also currently oversees community clinics located in Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pottsville, Wyomissing, York and Fort Indiantown Gap. If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible to receive care and benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more, call (717) 272-6621, ext. 6000.

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