Dr. Wesley Girod Becomes the Area’s First and Only da Vinci-Trained General Surgeon
Hattiesburg, MS – Dr. Wesley Girod, a general surgeon at Southern Surgical Associates, is taking minimally invasive surgery to the next level with the da Vinci Si Surgical System at Wesley Medical Center. As the area’s first and only da Vinci-trained general surgeon, Dr. Girod is offering his patients robotics-assisted surgical procedures which may result in less pain and scarring, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications.
Wesley Medical Center brought da Vinci robotic assisted surgery to the Pine Belt in 2007. In 2011, their upgrade to the newest da Vinci robot enabled physicians to take a minimally invasive approach for even more complex surgical procedures. Initially, robotics-assisted surgery was most commonly used in gynecological and prostate surgeries. Dr. Girod, who has performed hundreds of laparoscopic general surgical procedures, saw the da Vinci as a way to offer his patients more precise surgical care.
“The da Vinci gives me a greater range of motion than traditional laparoscopic instruments,” said Dr. Girod. “I can see the operative field in far greater detail and I’m using the robot now for everything that I previously did laproscopically, such as colon and gallbladder removal, esophagus repair and surgery for hiatal hernias.”
The da Vinci Si Surgical System integrates robotic technology to virtually extend the surgeon’s eyes and hands. Using the system, the surgeon operates while seated at a console viewing a 3-D image of the surgical area. The system mimics the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, in a smaller scale, within the operating site in the patient’s body.
“The technology is very advanced, and most general surgeons are not trained to perform da Vinci robotic-assisted surgeries,” said Dr. Girod. “I chose to become trained because about 70 percent of the procedures I perform are done laproscopically and I wanted to offer my patients the most precise, least invasive option possible.”
Using advanced technology, the da Vinci Si Surgical System enables physicians to operate through a few tiny incisions, rather than one large incision. Depending on the procedure, up to five small incisions allow access to robotic arms, which are controlled by the surgeon. The nature of the technology makes the system ideal for performing complicated surgeries such as colectomy and cholecystectomy procedures to remove the colon and gallbladder.
“Soon, I will be introducing the single port cholecystectomy in Hattiesburg,” said Dr. Girod. “That means I’ll be using just one tiny incision, about the size of an ink pen, to perform the entire gallbladder removal surgery.”
A traditional open cholecystectomy is a major abdominal surgery in which the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a 5- to 7-inch incision. Patients usually remain in the hospital at least 2 to 3 days and may require several additional weeks to recover at home. Da Vinci procedures typically result in low blood loss and shorter recovery times.
Wesley Medical Center is committed to providing superior care to the Pine Belt and has been recognized for patient safety and top performance on key quality measures. The da Vinci minimally invasive surgical program at Wesley is one of the fastest growing in the state. For more information, call 601-268-8000.