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An Impromptu Update - SUNDANCE is Doin’ the DaVinci Surgery System

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey, Gang :)

It’s been another wonderful week on the board hasn’t it? So many people going NED!

I got an impromptu call from my thoracic surgeon and he told me some interesting news…want to hear?

Ok – I’m going out on the “cutting edge of technology” and my surgery is going to be done by the DaVinci surgery system – robotic surgery!

Yep, I know just what you mean – not only that I will the the 1st one that my surgeon has performed this on, so I’m a guinea pig once again...so stand by :)

There will be trained personnel for the device in the O/R, but the surgeon will do the actual robot surgery for the first time, so he can be “certified” and be able to perform this procedure on his patients in the future, thereby helping everyone who comes after me.

I gave him my permission to perform this type of surgery – it’s a little breathtaking, but I figure if I can continue to help people by giving this guy the experience and the “license and certification” to help others, I feel it is the right thing for me to do and makes me feel better that I am able to help someone else in their fight too. A "win-win" situation for everybody.

Want to know something even funnier?

I was just reading an article on the DaVinci system yesterday and it’s like Mayberry meets Star Wars…it is a very intimidating looking machine, but fascinating on how far we’ve come in the medical community.

I went out on the website and researched it of course and watched part of a Nephroectomy they had a video on, but could not watch it all. We should really give the surgeons more credit now I think – it takes a special person with a brilliant mind and superior motor skills to be able to perform operations. The inside of the human body is mesmerizing, but you can only look at so much – I got the idea :)

Anyway, just thought I would share this story with you...as the journey continues :)

Enjoy your w/end, Semis;


Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009


Before my cancer I worked at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. I worked in the Surgical Department in ordering and billing for surgeries. UAMS bought a Da Vinci about a year ago and I was in on the ordering and scheduling and then billing for these surgeries. As far as I know, there have been no problems with any of the surgeries and more and more of the surgeons at UAMS are getting certified every month. Right now UAMS only uses the DaVinci for Prostrate and Gynecology surgeries. From the patients we hear that healing time is faster and the pain is less.

So good luck on being the guinea pig for this doctor.


Muzzy's picture
Posts: 178
Joined: Sep 2009

You have always been a tread setter:}
Good luck and god bless
Just happy to be here

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

....have such a wonderful heart Craig, though I'm kind of scared and nervous for you, since it's this surgeons first time, I really tip my lady hat off to you, paving the way, and doing this for others, you are one of the most generous people I have ever met, even if it is on a board!

I hope everything goes well, I have watched this being done on TV, and it looks abit scary, but I bet you get through this better then ever, and will pray this surgeon take the best of care to you! It's very interesting watching it, and can't wait to hear how it was when you do this, oh what a story I'm sure we'll be looking forward too!

Good Luck, my dearest lion, and will be in touch soon!


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6691
Joined: Feb 2009

You just have to be amazed how technology has improved even in 10 years. You are so wonderful to let your surgeon do this as a means for certification. You are a very giving person to think of others as you are the one who will be going through it. I'm sure that the surgeon is confident he can do this procedure otherwise he wouldn't do it. You will be someone he will never forget that is for sure. Let us know more you when have updates. This is a good opportunity for everyone.


Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi my big brother,you have won lots of respects from me like always.I had been in graduate school for years and I understand how important data is for scientific research.You are very brave and generous of doing this.On one hand I am very worried about you since it's going to be the first time for the surgeon to use it,but on the other hand I think the surgeon should be well trained and it should be like Laparoscopy,the injury would be smaller and you will recover quicker.It is just a like double-side sword,there are risks and benifits,but any surgery is double-side sword.Anyway you are very very generous,without the generousity of the people like you,the moden science wouldn't be improved so quickly,and also because of the generousity of many people contributed before,nowadays people have more and more options.Anyway,I bow to you to show my respect.Best luck and best wishes to you with the surgery.Take care.Hugsss.

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Way to go Craig. I'll have to look up DaVinci on the internet. I'm glad it isn't going to be R2D2 and C3PO!! Anotheer adventure on the journey!

Be well... Rob; in Van

"Don't blame me. I'm an interpreter. I'm not supposed to know a power socket from a computer terminal." C3PO

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Everybody

I've been doing some research on this device - I must admit it is a little bit intimidating, even to me.

This machine itself is very scary looking and sits on you and you can have up to 6 instruments inserted into your body cavity.

I've read some recent articles about it and it's relatively new around the country, out about 5 years and has been limited in the types of surgeries it is used on, but is gaining more and more acceptance.

It is expensive but takes more time for the surgery - and even more for a surgeon not versed on using this device - and I'm going to be NUMERO UNO for my guy!

In my naivete, I thought this would be no problem - but then your instinct to understand takes over and you want more info - I always have....maybe I just should have stayed "stupid."

It's a shock, but I'm sure I will be ok - I've got to get my mind wrapped around this one :)

I've put a PIC of the Da Vinci out on my Expressions page if you want to check it out.

Thanks for your posts - it helps to alleviate some of this tension.


mommyof2kds's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Medical technology is amazing and you are making medical history... Way to go.. Petrina

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008


Have no worries. The surgery is going to go perfectly and you will back here soon after the operation to tell us how cool it was.

Best wishes as you move forward!!


dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Fox Mulder would love this! The Truth is Out There, Craig. ooouuu weee ouuuuu

trainer's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

My resection was supposed to be done by Da Vinci, and it was, sort of. But because they couldn't find any evidence of the cancer, due to the tight location, the surgeon ended up doing the big cut on me. So, I guess I got a 2 for 1 deal. But, I am a total supporter of the Da Vinci system. I, too, studied it, and my surgeon is the numero uno surgeon in the southwest on it, and trains others. The recovery from the different insertions and incisions of the Da Vinci tubes were minor and healed quickly, unlike the big cut, which took much longer. And now a year later, those Da vinci scare are practically invisible.

If I ever have to ahve another surgery, I am going to ask for the Da vinci system.

As for being your doc's first surgery on it, I wouldn't worry much, other than normal worries. Less, even. It will probably be his best surgery ever.

Good luck and I hope they can complete the surgery without doing what they had to do with me. Ask if you have any questions.

BTW, even though they did the big slice and dice, no cancer could be found, but in caution, they did a resection anyway. The cancer apparently was in the polyp apparently and had not broken into the colon wall.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I've heard that system is fantastic! Good luck with it. We can't wait to hear your report about how well you did with this.


lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Sounds great, Craig! I've read a lot about the DaVinci robotic surgeries. UCSD in San Diego, where I had my liver resection, uses that a lot. I didn't have it because there was too much in my liver to be addressed with the DaVinci, but my surgeon uses it on others sometimes. Also, the colorectal surgeon there also uses it & I've read they do a lot of prostatectomies for prostate cancer surgery using the DaVinci robot now and there's a lot less side effects in that surgery since the robotic arm is more precise and less wavering than a human hand could be.

Cool- I'm glad you're excited about it- although I'm a bit nervous for you with the doctor not being experienced in it. I guess they have to get their experience somehow!

I'm sure it will go well for you!!


luv3jay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

And scarey at the same time! I'm sure everything will go great and you will be on the road to recovery in no time. I'm sure I don't have to say, but make sure you share the experience with us all and continue to be blessed!

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

This is great! Your healing time will be so much less. I know people that have had DaVinci surgeries and been very happy.

When the surgeon assigned to me for my colon re-section didn't do laproscopic surgery, I asked for one that did. And the original surgeon assisted to learn more so he can eventually do them (he does right side using lap, but not left side yet).

I mention this because I think before they do their first surgeries of any new sort, they have to assist and learn a lot. And then for certification, they need someone there that is certified to do the procedure. So if any problems arise, the one who is certified can take over. I think you probably get better care in a case like this than with only one surgeon in the room!

It is fantastic you agreed to let your surgeon get his certification doing your surgery. This is a win/win for both of you!

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