Science and Innovation

Digestive Health Institute Surgeons’ Expertise Showcased At The Society Of Robotic Surgery’s 10th Annual Meeting

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Over the past decade, robotic surgery has transformed many surgical specialties and allowed more and more patients to have minimally invasive operations rather than open surgical procedures. For complex operations such as those that involve abdominal or upper GI organs, a robotic surgical approach makes for dramatically easier patient recoveries and lowers the risk for postsurgical complications.

As leaders in their fields, AdventHealth Tampa Digestive Health Institute’s advanced foregut and hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgeons recently attended and gave several presentations at the 10thannual meeting of the Society of Robotic Surgery, billed by the society as the “most comprehensive robotic symposium ever held.”

DHI advanced foregut and HPB surgeons Sharona Ross, MD, FACS, and Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS, both also faculty of the Society of Robotic Surgery, gave a combined nine presentations at the meeting, with Dr. Ross presenting the “Hepatobiliary Update” during the meeting’s wrap-up plenary session attended by robotic surgeons of all specialties. Both Dr. Ross and Dr. Rosemurgy’s presentations centered on robotic operations fo resophageal conditions and situations that require pancreatic surgery. While these are quite complex procedures, DHI surgeons’ ability to perform them with a surgical robot helps reduce postoperative pain and speed patient recovery.

Iswanto Sucandy, MD, FACS, DHI’s advanced HPB surgeon who subspecializes in liver surgery, was also at the meeting and gave a presentation about robotic liver surgery. Dr. Sucandy is one of a small number of surgeons who offer liver surgery via this minimally invasive technique. Patients who are candidates for robotic liver surgery are spared the long recovery associated with open liver operations.

Although DHI’s surgeons have been pioneering robotic surgical techniques for well over a decade and are among of the nation’s first to perform certain operations robotically, the adoption of the surgical robot by other surgeons in performing a wide array of abdominal procedures has been slow. Because there are not yet widely used standardized surgical techniques for a lot of these procedures, many surgeons can learn from the ways DHI surgeons perform them.

Each of the three DHI surgeons in attendance at the meeting were invited to give specific presentations at the meeting, with Dr. Ross asked to speak about the robotic Whipple procedure, a pancreas operation, Dr. Rosemurgy about robotic surgery for esophageal cancer, and Dr. Sucandy about robotic liver surgery. In addition, our advanced colon and rectal surgeon, Allen Chudzinski, MD, FACS, FASCRS had a video of one of his robotic abdominoperineal resection procedures for rectal cancer running on a loop throughout the conference.

The following is the full list of presentations given by our surgeons at this year’s comprehensive robotic conference:

  • Robotic Giant Hiatal Hernia Repair with Fundoplication – Sharona Ross, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Re-operative Heller Myotomy – Sharona Ross, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Transhiatal Esophagectomy – Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS
  • Our Robotic Approach to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma – Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Whipple: Lessons Learned – Sharona Ross, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Pancreaticoduodenectomy with Cholecystectomy for Pseudopapillary Neoplasm – Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Distal Pancreatectomy with Splenectomy and Adrenalectomy – Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Duodenoduodenostomy for Annular Pancreas – Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Liver Surgery. Lessons Learned – Iswanto Sucandy, MD, FACS
  • Robotic Abdominoperineal Resection for Rectal Cancer (video display) – Allen Chudzinski, MD, FACS, FASCRS
  • Hepatobiliary Update (plenary session) – Sharona Ross, MD, FACS

For more information about the Society of Robotic Surgery and its Annual Meeting, visit

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