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Silver Cross Hospital Designated as National Robotic Surgery Training Site for General Surgery/Colorectal Cancer Treatment

New Lenox, IL (Aug. 6, 2014)—Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, IL has been designated a general surgery robotic Epicenter by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci Si Surgical system. As an official Epicenter training site, surgeons from across the North and South America travel to Silver Cross Hospital every week to learn from Dr. R. A. Gamagami, board certified surgeon, and his surgical team who use the robotic technology for general, colon and rectal surgery. Dr. Gamagami was the first surgeon to perform the area’s first Single-Site™ da Vinci Si Cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) at Silver Cross Hospital and is a leading expert for this and other digestive disorder surgeries in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He is sought out by countless patients—even doctors as patients themselves—who suffer from digestive disorders requiring surgery.

Photo Caption:  (l to r) Reza Gamagami, MD, general surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital; David Litkak, MD, surgical oncologist with Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, AZ; Steve Good, Intuitive Surgical Associate; Julie Hildebrand, Physician’s Assistant with Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center.  Dr. Litkak and Hildebrand met with Dr. Gamagami on July 24 at Silver Cross Hospital to learn how to perform colorectal surgery using robotic techniques.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. granted Silver Cross Hospital the Epicenter designation upon completion of its rigorous program requirements.  Epicenter sites are selected because of demonstrated excellence in patient outcomes as well as exceptional teaching capabilities and experience by its surgeons.  Epicenter surgeon, like Dr. Gamagami, act as mentors for newly trained da Vinci® robotic surgeons to promote ongoing learning.

Since the new Hospital opened in 2012, Silver Cross has performed over 1,100 robotic procedures making it one of the busiest robotic surgery programs in the Chicago area.   The Hospital’s multispecialty robotics program includes colorectal, general, gynecology and urology surgical procedures using the minimally invasive da Vinci technology. Silver Cross, which has two da Vinci surgical systems, is one of just 25 General Surgery Epicenters in the U.S. and the second designated center in Illinois.

“Intuitive is selective about choosing a robotic surgery program to serve as an Epicenter teaching site for general surgery,” says Dr. Thai Nguyen, medical director of the robotic surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Silver Cross’s program, and in particular Dr. Gamagami and his associates, are leaders in their field in terms of experience, overall volume and quality outcomes.”

In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Gamagami has performed the highest volume of robotic colorectal surgeries in Illinois. During a robotic colon resection, surgeons remove cancerous portions of the colon and rectum, as well as benign tumors and polyps. A robot-assisted approach provides surgeons with the tools to more easily connect the two ends of the colon after the cancer has been removed. The procedure can be completed with a few tiny incisions, rather than the one long incision used in traditional open colon surgery.  Patients benefit from minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, and a shorter hospital stay with reduced complications.

“Robotic surgery allows me to perform complex rectal and gastrointestinal cancer surgeries, which had been extremely challenging to do previously in a minimally invasive manner,” says Dr. Gamagami.   “The robot provides me with enhanced visualization, 3D magnification and enhanced dexterity for manipulation and dissection of tissue with greater precision. This ultimately results in better outcomes.”

For more information or a referral to a physician who performs robotic surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

About Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a new 289-bed acute care hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox and 5 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.

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Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.