Regional Medical Center expanding robotic surgery program
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg is ramping up its robotics program, and a new doctor leading the charge hopes to create a robotic surgery-based “Center of Excellence” at the hospital.
RMC has had a robot to use for surgery for a little more than a year, according to Dr. Jason Cundiff, a general surgeon at the hospital, but now the hospital will be expanding and improving the entire robotic surgery program.
Using a robot for surgery has a lot of benefits, Cundiff says, including a smaller incision, which means less pain and a faster recovery, as well as a smaller risk of infection, hernias, blood clots and pneumonia.
Cundiff and his team at RMC are on their way to creating a Center of Excellence at RMC for robotic surgery, he says.
To do this, the hospital will develop methods so more patients are considered for robotic surgery, collect extensive data on the surgeries, create a reduced narcotic program to help people get out of the hospital faster without as many narcotics, become a teaching entity where other surgeons can come to observe and keep up to date with the most cutting edge approaches and techniques.
“Calhoun, Orangeburg and the surrounding counties are well-known for being hugely medically underserved,” Cundiff says. “Right now, for certain procedures, there’s the perception that there has to be a migration to Columbia or down to Charleston to get tertiary level care. By putting that in place here, it makes the care local and it also provides more of a trust with coming to RMC and getting care locally, which is important to the community as well as the individual patient.”
The hospital has already started performing procedures robotically that have never been done that way at RMC before—complex abdominal surgeries and emergency operations—and it plans to continue growing the program to be a referral center that offers specialty robotic surgeries in the future, according to Cundiff.
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