Legacy physician spurs growth in robotic-assisted surgery
General surgeon Greg Starley, D.O. is spearheading growth in robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. The number of robot-assisted surgeries at the medical center is doubling.
The hospital had 80 of them performed in 2014, 184 in 2015 and 177 in the first six months of 2016. Dr. Starley has performed 250 of these.
Starley credits his time as an army surgeon in Afghanistan for giving him the confidence to try new medical techniques, including robot-assisted surgery. In a story published by The Outlook, he talked about the influence of his military service on his ability to chart new surgical territory. In Afghanistan, “I was six months out of medical school residency and was doing things I’d only read about,” said Starley. “In the forward surgical unit, we operate by the motto “if you don’t try, they’re gonna die.”
Major Starley landed at Legacy Mount Hood in 2014 after his military service that included serving as chief of surgery at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Soon after he arrived a representative of the company that manufacturers the robotic machines offered him training. Through research, training and using the technique, he finds it to be “really amazing” and an improvement over laparoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery as well as traditional, open surgery.
Robotic surgery is not appropriate for every type of surgical procedure. Repair on hernias, removal of gallbladders, some gynecological procedures and colon surgeries are among the most effective for use of robotic surgery.
There are many advantages to robotic surgery. “Because it is less invasive, patients heal faster, they have less pain and use fewer painkillers. Patients also can go home earlier and recover sooner,” he said.
Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center now has two robot surgery machines and 12 surgeons who can perform robotic surgery — four urologists, five gynecologists and three general surgeons.
Click here to read The Outlook story: I-robot, you patient.