MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Surgeons at the WVU Cancer Institute performed the state’s first robotic Whipple procedure on Oct. 17. This procedure is used to treat pancreatic cancer and other tumors and disorders of the pancreas, intestine, and bile duct.
“This is an innovative therapy for advanced cancers that needs to be done at a large, tertiary care hospital like WVU Medicine that has teams of experts in surgery, nursing, pharmacy, and other disciplines,” Carl Schmidt, M.D., surgeon in chief at the WVU Cancer Institute, said.
In the procedure, surgeons use the DaVinci surgical robot to remove the head of the pancreas along with the attached duodenum and bile duct, then reconnect the organs to maintain digestive function. The robotic approach allows use of small incisions and minimally-invasive surgery with the hope of decreased pain, shorter hospital stay and faster overall recovery.
“We’re hopeful that the robotic technique will allow us to perform the procedure with greater effectiveness and a better outcome for our patients,” Brian Boone, M.D., surgical oncologist at the WVU Cancer Institute, said.
WVU Medicine’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is the first in the state and one of few hospitals in the country to offer the Whipple and other pancreas procedures robotically.
The patient is doing well and is recovering at home.
David McDonald, 55, of Morgantown, didn’t expect a cancer diagnosis when he brought up some symptoms he had been having during a doctor’s appointment for stomach pain. He mentioned to his doctor that he had been having some rectal bleeding, and his family doctor sent him for further tests to find the cause.
Paul Rosen, M.D., M.P.H., M.M.M., has joined WVU Medicine Children’s as the state’s first dedicated pediatric rheumatologist.
With spring approaching, it is time to start organizing your walking team. The Wellness Center at WVU Medicine will start its annual Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days® campaign on Monday, April 15.