Mokena Man Attends College Football Game Just Days after Complex Robotic Surgery

For two years, as Robert Della Penna, 74, rode his bike through many scenic trails, he would become extremely short of breath at the beginning of his rides, but then the sensation would disappear. After Della Penna began experiencing episodes of shortness of breath during non-strenuous daily activities, his son and daughter-in-law, who are both physicians, encouraged him to see his family doctor.

Results from a CT-scan showed Della Penna had a large mass between his lungs and heart. After weighing his options for having the mass removed with a traditional surgery versus robotically, Della Penna decided to have the mass removed robotically at the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. His recovery went so well, Della Penna was able to attend a Northwestern University football game just four days after having robotic surgery!

His surgeon, Dr. David Cziperle, thoracic surgeon with the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, used the da Vinci XI Robot System to perform a robotic resection and removed a benign, mediastinal cyst from Della Penna’s chest on October 24, 2017. The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital is home to highly skilled and trained physicians and the most advanced daVinci robots. The Institute performs the most robotic surgical procedures in the Chicagoland Area.

Robert Della Penna
Pictured is Mokena resident, Robert Della Penna at Ryan Field cheering on his beloved Northwestern University football team just four days after having a benign mass surgically removed at the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.

Weighing Traditional Versus Robotic Approach

“I didn’t know anything about robotic surgery and was very apprehensive because I thought the robot would do my procedure. However once Dr. Cziperle explained that the da Vinci robot could only operate with direct input from him, I began to feel more comfortable,” said Robert Della Penna.

Della Penna became further sold on the robotic surgery option once he learned that if he chose the traditional surgical method, his recovery would be several weeks long since his chest would have to be cracked open to remove the mass.

“After Dr. Cziperle described the extensive recovery I would undergo if I had the traditional surgery, he then explained the robotic surgery option would provide me with a much quicker recovery, less blood loss, less scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and low risk of complications. Quite simply, after learning all about these benefits, it was very clear that robotic surgery was the best option for me,” said Della Penna.

“Unlike other surgeries, the da Vinci System is a minimally invasive option for patients, like Robert. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D HD vision system and special instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. These features enable me to operate with enhanced vision, precision, and control,” said Dr. Cziperle. “Because robotic surgery causes minimal trauma to the body, Robert was able to quickly return to his active lifestyle and enthusiastically attend the Northwestern football game just a few days after his surgery.”

“I am so grateful that Silver Cross Hospital is so close to my home. I just can’t say enough about how wonderful my experience was with Dr. Cziperle and the entire staff at Silver Cross Hospital,” said Della Penna. “Dr. Cziperle has a great bed-side manner that made me feel comfortable to ask him any question, and the nursing staff was very attentive to all my needs. I still can’t believe that I was discharged approximately twenty-four hours after my robotic surgery, and that I had such little discomfort that I didn’t need to take any pain medications.”

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.