STONY BROOK, N.Y – Ghassan J. Samara, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of
|Ghassan J. Samara, M.D.|
Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is the first physician on Long Island to use a high-tech robotic surgical system to perform surgery on patients with ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions, an approach that enables surgeons to operate with a better visualization of tissues, improved precision, and in a minimally invasive manner.
Dr. Samara, with the assistance of Mark F. Marzouk, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, completed three ENT surgical cases in late March with the da Vinci® S HD™ Surgical System, a state-of-the-art robotic system. After robotic-assisted surgery, many patients experience significantly less pain, less blood loss, less scarring, and shorter recovery times, compared to conventional surgery for various conditions.
“In ENT procedures, the robot gives us better access to some areas of the throat without the need for more invasive open surgery within the throat region,” says Dr. Samara. “Other advantages are that the system allows better visualization for these types of procedures, enhanced precision, and can also be used to complete microsurgery and sew in areas not previously accessible,” he explains.
The initial cases in which Dr. Samara used the da Vinci system were varied. One case involved removal of the tonsils in which use of the robot led to almost no blood loss. Another case involved removal of a benign tumor located on the palate and the uvula. The robotic system enabled Dr. Samara to precisely resect and create a small flap of tissue to sew over the open area, thus leading to faster healing for the patient. A third case involved a cancer patient with severe scarring that resulted from chemotherapy and radiation. The scarring blocked the nose and nasopharynx. After removing the nasal scarring by conventional surgical methods, Dr. Samara also employed the robot to free the patient’s soft palate.
Dr. Samara says that he and his Stony Brook colleagues performing ENT surgery will use the robotic system for many conditions but mostly to help them treat cancers of the mouth, throat, and tongue. However, Dr. Samara expects the practice will expand use of the robot for other oral surgical procedures, such as for sleep apnea and related conditions.
About the Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Program
The Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Program at Stony Brook University Medical Center provides a full range of care for both adults and children with disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. The Division includes expertise in hearing and balance disorders, in acoustic neuroma and skullbase surgery, in laser therapy for problems of the voice and throat, and in nasal and functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Specialists on this service also provide treatment for head and neck disorders, including benign and malignant tumors, and employ the latest techniques in microvascular reconstruction. They perform surgery for thyroid and parathyroid disorders as well, including the latest minimally invasive surgery for these conditions and for removal of pituitary tumors and salivary gland stones.