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Local Man First to Undergo Robotic Gall Bladder Removal in Lufkin

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Lufkin General Surgeon, Dr. Gregory DeArmond, recently made medical history in Lufkin after performing the first robotic gall bladder removal on a 20 year old man.  The patient had been suffering from multiple gall bladder stones; however, thanks to Dr. DeArmond and his assistant, the da Vinci High Definition Robot at Memorial Medical Center—Lufkin, the surgery was a success with minimal side effects.

When asked why he agreed to be the first patient to undergo such a procedure in Lufkin, Tyler Thompson said he trusted his physician and had the utmost confidence in his ability. “The doc mentioned using the robot and I decided to just go with his recommendation even though this was his first robotic gall bladder removal,” said Thompson.  However, his mom Lisa Thompson had a different opinion.  “I actually tried to talk him out of it, but Tyler has always been interested in technology. He wanted to have the gall bladder removed robotically,” said Ms. Thompson.  “Now, I think it was a good decision.”

Before sitting down at the console to use the robot, Dr. DeArmond actually went through a rigorous training period at the Houston Medical Center where he spent time using the robot and observing cases.  Also, as with all surgeons’ first robotic cases, a proctor, or someone who has significant experience with the robot, is in the operating room.  In this particular case, Dr. David Price, a local urologist who has performed almost 1000 robotic procedures, assisted Dr. DeArmond.

Using the most advanced technology available, the da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate through a few tiny incisions with breakthrough vision, precision, control and improved access to the affected area. By overcoming the limits of both traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for people around the world. “He has experienced minimal pain and bleeding, and he got to leave the hospital in a matter of hours,” said Ms. Thompson.

According to Dr. DeArmond, it took only 34 minutes to remove the gall bladder with the robot, which is similar to traditional laparoscopic procedures. “With robotic surgical assistance the surgery is usually less painful and the recovery time is much quicker,” said Dr. DeArmond.  When asked what he thought about being the first patient in the Lufkin area to have his gall bladder removed robotically, Thompson replied, “It feels pretty cool!”

Lufkin Memorial was the first hospital in East Texas to invest in the DaVinci High Definition Robot.  Since 2007, multiple surgeons have taken advantage of the new technology and have successfully performed hysterectomies, prostatectomies, thoracic, cardiovascular and nephrectomies with robotic assistance.  The million dollar technology is available in Lufkin only at Memorial.

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