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Robert Mordkin, MD, FACS and Andrew Joel, MD, FACS
Robert Mordkin, MD, FACS and Andrew Joel, MD, FACS of Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group–Urology were early adopters of robotic technology when it was first approved by the FDA in 2004. Since that time, they have performed hundreds of robotic-assisted procedures and routinely use the da Vinci robot for urologic cancer surgeries

“Historically, the whole kidney had to be removed when a cancerous tumor was present, even if the tumor was very small. With robotic surgery, we remove just the diseased portion of the kidney in a minimally invasive procedure called a robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy. This allows us to preserve as much of the healthy kidney as possible to maximize kidney function.” — Dr. Joel.


“Several years ago, robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy was only done on select patients with very small tumors. Today, Dr. Joel and I approach every kidney cancer case this way if the location and size of the tumor are appropriate. We are now able to remove more complex, larger kidney tumors with excellent outcomes.” — Dr. Mordkin.

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At the Forefront of Robotic Surgery

The computer-enhanced da Vinci® Surgical System’s robotic technology takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand, introducing precise, versatile instrument movement combined with a magnified, three-dimensional view of the organ itself.

With da Vinci®, one of our highly skilled surgeons can perform an entire surgery from a console that offers 3-D viewing and three tiny tools that are inserted into the body. Once inside the tools become the eyes and hands of the surgeon. A small camera, provides a detailed and magnified view of the prostate. Miniature robotic “hands”, working with great precision at the surgeon’s command, allow a range of motion and a level of steadiness that is impossible for human hands to duplicate. The 3-D view makes it easier for the surgeon to see the nearby nerves and muscles that control continence and potency. And because the surgery is minimally invasive, patients typically begin walking the evening of surgery and usually begin a normal diet one day after surgery.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

  • Reduced trauma to the body
  • Reduced blood loss and need for transfusions
  • Less post-operative pain and discomfort
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and return to normal daily activities
  • Less scarring

To learn more about da Vinci® surgeries performed by Virginia Hospital Center's surgeons, please click on the links below:

Robotic Colon Surgeries
Robotic Laparoscopic Nephroureterectomy
Robotic Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy
Robotic Laparoscopic Pyeloplasty
Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Ureteropelvic Junction Repair
Robotic Radical Cystectomy
Robotic Radical Prostatectomy with Nerve Sparing
Other/Surgical Oncology Robotic Surgical Procedures
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery

For more information, watch daVinciSurgery's patient education videos or go to www.davincisurgery.com.

Introducing the da Vinci Xi | December, 2015



© 2017 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. | da Vinci® Surgery, daVinciSurgery’s Channel

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Patient Success Story

Robert Unger's kidney cancer was discovered as an incidental finding on his annual chest CT scan. Kidney cancer is an area where robotic surgery has had a profound impact.

“I was lucky it was found so early. My doctor felt surgery to remove my entire kidney was too risky for me, considering my lung disease and my family history of diabetes. He was adamant about trying to save as much of my kidney as possible and referred me to Dr. Mordkin for robotic surgery.

The care I received at Virginia Hospital Center was excellent. My wife stayed with me in my private room during the one night I was in the hospital. Best of all, I still have two-thirds use of my kidney.” — Robert Unger, Berkeley Springs, WV

Within 10 days of his surgery, Robert was feeling back to normal.

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