TGH Celebrates Milestone of Using State-of-the-Art Single-port Robotic Surgery for Complex Urologic Procedures

TGH Celebrates Milestone of Using State-of-the-Art Single-port Robotic Surgery for Complex Urologic Procedures

Published: Nov 9, 2023

In the realm of robot-assisted surgery, Tampa General Hospital (TGH) has long been leading the way with cutting-edge techniques that offer enhanced visualization for surgeons, reduced pain and shorter hospital stays for patients with demonstrated outcomes across an array of specialties.

This is certainly the case with Dr. Mark Baker, a veteran urologist with Florida Urology Partners, which works in collaboration with Tampa General Hospital to provide world-class care. Baker has not only performed nearly 1,000 robot-assisted surgeries but has also completed numerous transvesical radical prostatectomies on prostate cancer patients at TGH, using da Vinci Surgical Systems by Intuitive.

In doing so, he has become the first surgeon in Florida to perform this operation with the da Vinci single-port system. Baker successfully employed the technique twice in June this year, and he reports that both patients were discharged the same day with complete negative margins and feeling great. “It’s going to revolutionize how we treat patients with low to moderate prostate cancer,” he said.

“This approach has demonstrated much less pain and the ability for discharge the day of surgery, Baker said. “Since we are able to spare many vital structures around the bladder, this approach has demonstrated a much more timely return of urinary control. Roughly 50% of patients are immediately continent. Also, this approach has maintained excellent oncologic results.”

The benefit of the single-port system is that it allows surgeons to perform highly complex procedures in a minimally invasive way. The single-port robotics approach requires a lone incision as opposed to several with a multiport robot. The system also makes possible a greater natural range of motion than the human hand and is also designed with “an elbow and wrist,” providing increased mobility and precision. Furthermore, it allows for 3D visualization, allowing surgeons to look into areas not easily seen in an “open” – or non-robotic – surgery.

The specific, less-invasive approach utilized by Baker involves entering through the bladder to access the prostate – rather than working in front of or behind the organ to reach the prostate. Through a small incision in the bladder, he was able to remove the prostate with no issues. Having achieved such encouraging results, Baker has more such surgeries scheduled and is excited about the possibilities of helping a wider population of patients in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

“This isn’t offered anywhere else locally,” he said. “If I were a patient and knew about this, I would search it out.”

Baker’s leading-edge work is part of the game-changing robotic surgery program offered at Tampa General, which in 2022, performed its 10,000th robot-assisted surgery, receiving accreditation as a Center of Excellence in Robot-Assisted Surgery from the Surgical Review Corporation, an internationally recognized patient safety organization.

“Our ability to lead in this space through collaboration and innovation, along with the recognition as a Center of Excellence, speaks to the quality and breadth of care we provide to our community,” said Tampa General President and CEO, John Couris.

TGH has been using single-port systems since 2019, and Baker’s innovative procedural approach is influencing how this technology is being utilized around the country.