USA Health surgical oncologist performs first robotic liver resection in south Alabama

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — For the first time in South Alabama, a surgeon at USA Health University Hospital has performed a liver resection using robotic technology. Annabelle L. Fonseca, M.D., M.H.S. is the surgical oncologist who performed the surgery.

Robotic liver resection is an advancement in surgical techniques that makes it possible for a surgeon to reach and remove some liver tumors using tiny incisions in a minimally-invasive approach. The benefit of smaller incisions is a quicker recovery time and reduced risk of post-operative complications. That, in turn, allows these cancer patients to get back to return to chemotherapy quicker, which could result in better overall outcomes.

The robotic system also allows for better access to the liver. “It’s 3-D. It helps you work around corners, which is more important for the liver because the liver is sort of squished up and against the ribs and so it’s harder to get to,” said Dr. Fonseca.

The robotic technology may not be the best option for all liver surgeries, but it gives surgeons another option to give patients the best care.

 “The use of robotic procedures for hepato-pancreato-biliary diseases is still in its infancy in a sense. Most of these operations are still done with conventional ‘open’ surgeries” Fonseca said. “There is a certain percentage of patients that we can treat in a better way now with this [robotic system] and I think in those cases it’s an option that is very beneficial.”

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