Local Surgeon Scores A ‘First’

COOS BAY – A surgeon at Bay Area Hospital this week was the first in Oregon to perform surgery assisted by a groundbreaking video technology.

Dr. Steven Tersigni removed a patient’s gallbladder using the hospital’s state-of-the-art “da Vinci” surgical robot, augmented by new “Firefly” video technology. It was the first surgical use of the Firefly technology in Oregon or Southwest Washington.

“We’re trying to bring to our patients the best treatment that’s available, and we’ve done that with the robotic surgery and the Firefly technology,” Tersigni said.

The Firefly Fluorescence Imaging Vision System uses a special video camera and glowing dye to let surgeons view blood flowing in vessels and tissue during minimally invasive surgical procedures. Viewed with the Firefly camera, blood appears green, and tissue without blood flow appears gray.

In gall bladder surgery, the visual clarity provided by Firefly helps the surgeon avoid damaging the patient’s common bile duct, thereby avoiding a potentially serious surgical complication.

The federal Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Firefly technology for robot-assisted gall bladder surgeries on Sept. 23. Bay Area Hospital began offering robot-assisted surgeries about the same time, after acquiring the latest model of the da Vinci Surgical System.

Tersigni’s operation this week, called a cholecystectomy, was the first use of Firefly in Oregon and Southwest Washington – not just for gall bladder surgery but for any robot-assisted procedure.

The da Vinci system allows a minimally invasive approach to complex surgery. It transfers the surgeon’s hand movements to a set of robotic arms, allowing 360-degree maneuverability through tiny incisions. This kind of minimally invasive surgery commonly reduces a patient’s blood loss, pain and recovery time.

Dr. Tersigni is a board-certified general surgeon.

Bay Area Hospital is a full-service, acute care hospital in Coos Bay. With a full range of services including interventional cardiology, cancer services, orthopedic surgery, family birth center, imaging and more, Bay Area Hospital is recognized for medical excellence and its mission of improving the health of our community every day.

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JOURNALISTS:

To learn more about the da Vinci Surgical System and Firefly Fluorescence Imaging Vision System, go to intuitivesurgical.com.

Dr. Steven Tersigni may be reached at North Bend Medical Center.

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