Silver Cross Hospital

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Colorectal Specialist R.A. Gamagami, M.D., F.A.C.S. uses advanced techniques to save New Lenox Man’s Life

New Lenox, IL (Jan. 8, 2015)—This past July, Raymond Martinez drove to the Silver Cross Emergency Department after noticing blood in his toilet.  This had happened before—four years earlier.  Then, the blood was caused by polyps in the lining of his colon.  But this time, it was much more serious.  Martinez had a cancerous tumor in his large intestine (colon) that needed to be surgically removed.

“I was tired and wanted to sleep all the time,” said the 87-year-old New Lenox resident. “But when I saw the blood, I thought ‘here we go again’.  I called my daughter who took me to Silver Cross where they admitted me to run some tests.

With Martinez’s history of colon polyps, a colonoscopy uncovered a tumor on his large intestine.  The biopsy showed that Raymond had a cancerous polyp, which could be completely removed surgically.

“I asked my nurses who I should have perform my surgery, and they all said Dr. Gamagami without hesitation,” Martinez stated.

Dr. Gamagami, who specializes in colorectal cancer surgery, is a leader in advanced minimally invasive procedures using the da Vinci robot.  Silver Cross has been designated as part of an elite group of nationally recognized General Surgery Epicenters due to the demonstrated excellence of R.A. Gamagami, M.D. as an educator for general colorectal robotic surgery.

“Dr. Gamagami came to see me while I was in the hospital and talked with me about all my options.”

“Based on the size and location of the tumor, we decided the best way to treat the cancer was to perform a laparoscopic robotic colon resection,” said Dr. Gamagami.  “Fortunately for Raymond, we can now perform complicated abdominal procedures laparoscopically through just a few small incisions using the da Vinci robot.

The da Vinci robotic system allows specially trained surgeons to perform complex surgeries with more precision and dexterity than standard laparoscopic surgery.

Da Vinci is a robotic surgery system with which specially trained surgeons control a robot through advanced technology to treat a variety of conditions including colon cancer.

At Silver Cross Hospital, we have performed twice as minimally invasive colon resections than any other local community hospital. According to Dr. Gamagami, 85% of his patients benefit from this new technology as compared to less than 10% in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Patients who undergo robotic colectomy (colon surgery) tend to have superior clinical outcomes, which include less pain, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay, and most importantly, less complications such as infections.

Dr. Gamagami performed Martinez’s laparoscopic right hemi-colectomy (colon resection) robotically at Silver Cross Hospital on Aug. 21, 2014 and Martinez required only a two-day hospitalization after his surgery, which is the norm for Dr. Gamagami’s patients. Martinez’s final pathology revealed Stage 1 colon cancer.

“The morning after my operation, I was up walking around the hospital corridors and had no pain,” commented Martinez.  “I couldn’t believe it didn’t hurt at all.”

Raymond Martinez’s cancer was completely gone.

“I just need to see Dr. Gamagami every six months following my surgery to make sure everything is working the way it should,” Martinez said. “I am lucky I went to Silver Cross when I did.”

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Having a colonoscopy starting at age 50 can actually prevent many cases of colon cancer, or reveal it at an early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.

However, if you are over age 30 and are experiencing one or more of the symptoms below, you should see a doctor right away to evaluate the need for a diagnostic colonoscopy:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days;
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so;
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool which may make it look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain;
  • Weakness and fatigue; and/or
  • Unintended weight loss.

For more information about colon cancer diagnosis and treatment, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. R.A. Gamagami in his office, located on the Silver Cross Hospital campus in New Lenox, call (815) 717-8730. You can also visit his website at www.gamagami.com

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.