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Issaquah, Washington
October 21, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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October 21, 2009

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inllunl mlnllln THE ISSAQUAH PRESS" B4 WEDNESDA~ OCTOBER 21, 2009 New technology helps clear Issaquah man of prostate cancer By David Hayes Issaquah Press reporter ohn Malina led a healthy lifestyle. The Issaquah resi- dent had eaten healthily, worked out regularly and didn't have any hereditary diseases that ran in his family. So, the 64-year-old was rather surprised to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. "I was shocked, to tell you the truth," he said. "I never expected it." When discussing treatment op- tions with his urologist, Malina learned they caught the cancer early on, when it wasn't aggres- sive yet, giving them several op- tions. He was surprised one of the options seemed right out of science fiction -- robotic surgery. "I have a son serving in Iraq," Malina said. "He told me the Army was already using robotic surgery, even on the battlefield, and it seemed to beworking out well. I wasn't even aware it was being used locally." Malina's urologist, Dr. Joel Lilly, practicing since 1990, is one of a growing number of surgeons uti- lizing the new technology at Swedish Medical Center. He's al- ready approaching his 200th case using the robot-assisted surgery and Swedish has notched more than 2,000 since its invention. "Patients hear their diagnosis and are anxious to get the cancer out of their body," Lilly said. "The technology makes the surgery a lot less of a scarier proposition. Like operating an oversized flight simulator, the robotic appa- ratus comes in two parts -- the surgeon sits at the first large con- sul at the side of the operating table, operating two actuators Swedish Medical Center System. surgeons operate on patients using the :J CO[TRTESY OF SWEDISH MEDICAL CENTER robot-assisted technology of the da Vinci Surgical (joysticks for computer gamers) and foot pedals. The controls re- motely operate four robotic arms -- one a binocular camera giving him a 3-D view with two lenses, and three arms to hold the instru- ments for the operation. "It's pretty amazing techr ology," Lilly said. "I'm excited to be work- ing in an era to get to use it." All this technolo essentially uses a smaller footprint to per- form a surgery that in the past was quite invasive. The conventional surgery used to require a six-inch incision in the lower abdomen; caused consider- able blood loss requiring a transfu- sion that made the patient anemic; mandated a two- to three-day stay in the hospital for recovery, fol- lowed by two to three weeks with a catheter inserted into the bladder; and a lot of pain, Lilly said. Now, the robotic surgery makes only eight to 12 tiny holes of one- third to one-half inch, which are "Patients hear their diagnosis and are anxious to get the cancer out of their body. The technology makes the surgery a lot less of a scarier proposition" - Dr. Joel Lilly Swedish Medical Center urologist didn't work. It's looking like he's made the right decision. "While I was in the hospital two days, I recovered fairly quickly," he said. 'They got it all out before it could spread past the prostate walls. So, I should be cured." Malina said the surgery last No- vember hasn't slowed him down. He feels good, has a lot of energy and is back to eating right and working out. He said he thinks the robot-assisted surgery is a fabulous medical development. "Anything that improves the eyes of a surgeon should play a huge role in any surgery," he said. Lilly added that robot-assisted surgery is being used in other ar- eas, such as kidney procedures, ovarian cancer, and thoracic and heart surgeries. The technology is continually expanding, he said. For example, the robotic arms provide a "feed- back loop" that, using sensors, tells the surgeon when pushing on something how much pressure and resistance the arm is meeting. "The bottom line," he added, "is the robot-assisted surgery is making many of the surgeries of the last 20,years less invasive. Malina said he's grateful the technology has helped him nip in the bud an insidious type of can- cer, especially now that he's ap- proaching two years clean. "I'm happy to talk to anyone about the experience," he said. "A COURTESY OF SWEDISH MEDICAL CENTER friend of mine was facing the h Swedish Medical Center surgeon uses the da Vinci Surgical System, finely same situation. I was happy to controlled robotic instruments, to perform minimally invasive procedures, recommend to him robotic sur- gery. I'd recommend it to anyone." easier to heal and cause less pain; Malina said he decided to go patients are released a day after the surgery route, because he David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, or surgery, and the catheter is only wanted the round of chemother- dhayes@isspress, com. Comment at needed for one week. apy to be a fallback if the surgery wxw.issaquahpress.com. @er#one eeds a itth elp aed ken... Stress Patty {}roves, M.A. Depression Issaquah Creek Counseling Center Life Transitions 545 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah Loss and Grief www.issaquahcreekcounseling.com Relationship Problems 425 898-1700 ..................... .......................... ........... ...... ...... x~ ~