St. Anthony’s Hospital’s New Robotics Surgery System Offers More Treatment Choices for Kidney Cancer Patients

Procedure Can Give Cancer Patients a Better Chance to Preserve Kidney Function

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (Dec. 14, 2011) – St. Anthony’s Hospital has enhanced its robotic surgery capabilities with an imaging technique that allows surgeons to better visualize and assess anatomy. Integrated fluorescence imaging actually illuminates an organ to allow a surgeon to better identify cancerous tissue. The hospital is currently using this technology to help conserve kidney function in patients diagnosed with kidney cancer.

“With fluorescence imaging, you can better differentiate cancerous tissue from healthy tissue,” said Eric Diner, MD, a St. Anthony’s Hospital urologist. “For patients with kidney cancer, this means that we can remove just the tumor instead of removing the entire kidney. Patients have a better potential for the health and function of their kidneys with this procedure.”

Called a laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, the procedure helps patients preserve more kidney function. “Improved imaging and minimally invasive techniques serve to advance the options for patients experiencing kidney cancer,” noted Dr. Diner.  “Most kidney cancer patients are treated by removing the entire kidney, leaving them to function with just one kidney. Because we can better identify the anatomy of the kidney with the fluorescence technology, we can more easily remove the tumor from the kidney. Using robotic technology means that surgery can be done using much smaller incisions which can translate into a faster recovery time and less post-operative pain. We believe that eventually this will be the standard of care for those suffering from kidney cancer.”

In the future, surgeons may use the fluorescence technology to assist with treatment of gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers.

“By preserving kidney function, Dr. Diner and this new technology have the potential to give patients a better quality of life following surgery,” said Ron Colaguori, St. Anthony’s vice president of operations. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be the first team in the St. Petersburg area to operate with the robotic fluorescence technology.

The advanced robotic-system designed to expand a surgeon’s capabilities, providing patients with a minimally invasive option for many complex procedures. The system allows a surgeon greater visualization, enhanced dexterity, precision and control and superior ergonomics. By enhancing surgical capabilities, robotic surgery is helping to improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care. Since having its first start-of-the-art robot system in 2008, St. Anthony’s has performed nearly 900 robotic surgeries.

About St. Anthony’s Hospital

St. Anthony’s Hospital is a 395-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and is the first and only faith-based hospital in Pinellas County. As St. Anthony’s celebrates its 80th year in 2011, the hospital continues its rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care. St. Anthony’s has received the 2010 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement award.  St. Anthony’s Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center received accreditation from both the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the American College of Radiology. For superior energy efficiency, St. Anthony’s earned the EPA’s ENERGY STAR three consecutive times.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist.