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Press Release Archive (2016)

Lowell General Hospital Performs First Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Precision, nerve-sparing surgical technology comes to the Merrimack Valley

Lowell, MA - Surgeons at Lowell General Hospital performed the Merrimack Valley's first robotic-assisted surgery yesterday using the da Vinci® Surgical System. A da Vinci-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy was successfully performed by Dr. Purnima Sangal and Dr. Michael Muto. This newly installed surgical platform is designed for precision, complex cases and will be used later this week for a prostate surgery.

Robotic General

The DaVinci Surgical System at Lowell General Hospital provides enhanced laparoscopic surgical techniques for surgery such as urology and gynecology.

Lowell General Hospital is among the first Massachusetts' hospitals outside of Boston to offer robotic-assisted, image-enhanced, minimally invasive surgery such as delicate gynecological, urological, and prostate surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System will enable surgeons at Lowell General to perform complex, minimally invasive operations with finer control and accuracy than through traditional laparoscopy.

Poised at a control console several feet from the patient, da Vinci trained surgeons use a high-powered camera with three-dimensional imaging to guide robotic arms equipped with micro-surgical instruments through small, keyhole-sized incisions for the ultimate in minimally invasive surgery.

The da Vinci's highly accurate instruments allow the surgeon to move her own hands - and control the robots' - to conduct precise movements with extraordinary control and range of motion. While the da Vinci's video monitoring system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgery with magnification ten times that of the naked eye.

Dr. Sangal"When surgery involves delicate anatomy, such as urology or gynecology, nerve-sparing is very important to help reduce the risk of long-term side affects or damage to surrounding tissue," explains Dr. Sangal, the gynecological surgeon who performed the first surgery on Monday. "The outstanding visibility - ten times that of unaided viewing - enables the surgeon to operate with precision. This is an incredible tool for us."

Dr. Purnima Sangal (see photo on right) completed the first robotic-assisted hysterectomy at Lowell General Hospital this week.

Previously, there were many complex cases that required open procedures due to the level of visibility and precision needed. The da Vinci Surgical System now enables such cases to be performed using this minimally invasive surgery, resulting in shorter recovery times, fewer complications, and reduced long-term side effects.

By enhancing surgical capabilities, the da Vinci Surgical System helps to improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care. Patients may experience reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and return to normal daily activities, and less scarring.

On Friday, June 6, Drs. Miguel Antelo and Matthew Cohen will perform the first prostatectomy, prostate removal, using the da Vinci system at Lowell General Hospital, demonstrating the application for urological use as well as gynecology procedures.

Dr. Antelo

Dr. Miguel Antelo (see photo on left) will use robotic-assisted technology for prostate surgery on Friday.

Robotic-assisted surgery is the latest enhancement to the surgical services available at Lowell General Hospital. For more information, visit

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