First In Colorado to Perform Cutting-Edge Robotic Liver Procedure

(Englewood, Colorado)  Liver cancer patients in Colorado now have a highly specialized alternative when it comes to surgery. The Center for Diseases of Liver and Pancreas at Swedish Medical Center is the first in Colorado to offer them the option of robotic liver resections.

2013 Barry Staver, www.barrystaver.com

“I feel as though this is a natural next step in the commitment as demonstrated by our Center for Diseases of the Liver and Pancreas.  We have a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the liver and this stands as a great example of bringing new technology in the appropriate timing and circumstance for the benefit of the patient while maintaining adherence to best treatment guidelines and outcomes,” says surgeon Eric Kortz, M.D.

Kortz is currently the only surgeon in the state that uses the Da Vinci surgical robot to perform this procedure.

Liver resections remove part of the liver containing cancer. With the robot, the operating surgeon has complete control during surgery offering safety for the dissection through tissues. “Robotics offers an extension of the minimally invasive approach for liver resection to more of our patients than our standard laparoscopic procedures due to increased operative maneuverability and increased safety,” explains Kortz.

The procedure also offers patients significant advantages to postoperative pain and speed of recovery.   “The benefits of minimally invasive procedures reduce overall physiological stress on the patient during operation and recovery,” says Kortz, “I certainly feel that the future of liver resection will involve robotic decision making.”

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About Swedish Medical Center (www.SwedishHospital.com)
Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, part of HealthONE, serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for Level 1 Trauma, neurotrauma and as the region’s only Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, a recognized leader in the most advanced stroke care. Swedish offers patients the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty and is an eight time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award and a Top 100 Hospital recognized by Reuters. An acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds, Swedish is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years. Annually, Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of 2,000 dedicated employees, 500 volunteers and more than 1,300 physicians.

Fighting Cancer with Faith: Stephanie’s Journey Continues

Stephanie-2“I beat it once, I’ll beat it again.”

Patient Stephanie Madsen describes her journey with battling cancer as not only a fight for her life but a story to share with others; a story to motivate, encourage and give hope to others in her shoes.  She speaks candidly about her ups and downs on her blog, www.derailingmydiagnosis.com.

Stephanie was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer of the cervix in early 2012. After having surgery and under-going an aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she was told she was cancer-free. “I was super excited!” says Stephanie, “I thought, I can finally move on and start planning the future.”

Stephanie and her husband Matt discovered the treatments had left them unable to conceive, so they made the decision to consider adoption. In the midst of planning, Stephanie started having pain in her stomach. “I felt this hard lump on my left side,” she explains, “I knew something wasn’t right and I was praying my cancer wasn’t back.” Next she would receive news she’d hoped not to hear, doctors found a massive tumor the size of a soft-ball.  Not only was her cancer was back, she would have to undergo emergency surgery to remove it. “I took it a lot harder than the first time,” says Stephanie, “this time I knew what it was and I knew it wasn’t going away.”

Swedish gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Mary Jo Schmitz has seen Stephanie through her battle and performed her surgery. Stephanie says overall the surgery went well and the good news was the tumor hadn’t attached to any other organ and it was successfully removed from her body. “I was in the best hands and I had complete confidence in my doctor,” she explains.

Since surgery, Stephanie has been put back on a treatment plan. She will have chemotherapy once a week for six weeks. “It’s a constant battle, but I’m confident that I will be cured again. I believe my story can help a lot of people, I truly believe I wouldn’t be able to fully understand cancer if I didn’t have this recurrence. I’m a fighter and I’m not giving up.”

If you would like to follow Stephanie’s journey, check out her blog at http://www.derailingmydiagnosis.com.