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da Vinci and  Robots and Kidneys, Oh My

                                                 da Vinci Xi   Robotic Assisted Surgical Systeminci Xi   Robotic Assisted Surgical System
                                                 da V
                                                           St. Peter‘s Health, Helena MT
                                                     Reid Gardiner, Editor, Grand Secretary Emeritus


      In September 2019, I was admitted to St. Peter’s        On February 13th, I became the 4th patient at St.
     Health for two weeks, which resulted in several x-rays,  Peter’s to undergo radical nephrectomy surgery using
     CT Scans, ultrasounds, and a biopsy and adjustment  the da Vinci Xi  robotic surgical system conducted by
     of mediations. During these various CT Scans, it was  St. Peter’s urologist  Dr. Kevin Brown and his surgical
     noted  that  there was  a  “mass” on my right  kidney.   team who performed my surgery.
        e need to get me treated and healthy resulted in the
     exploration into the kidney mass held in abeyance
     until my health was under control and my physical
     therapy to get my strength back up.    e   rst biopsy
     had been inconclusive. A cautionary note here is that it
     seems most frequently that renal cancer is most o  en
     detected while a person is being treated for something
     else.


      In January 2020, a second biopsy con  rmed kidney
     cancer (renal cell carcinoma) in my right kidney. A  er
     consultation with Dr. Todd Wampler, my personal
     care physician (President-elect of St. Peter’s Health
     Medical Group), he referred me to Dr. Kevin Brown,       My surgery resulted in a set of four small incisions of
     Urologist with St. Peters. Dr. Brown seemed genuinely  about one inch in length and an additional incision of
     interested in me and my concerns and went above and  about three inches. I spent two nights in the hospital
     beyond in making sure I was comfortable with the  before going home. I will have continuing care and
     plan of care, I was never rushed, and he and promptly  monitoring at St. Peter’s, including regular CT scans.
     noti  ed me of my test results  and ensured that I
     understood them.                                         St. Peter’s robotics program was launched in 2019.
                                                            In  addition to allowing medical  sta    to  complete
      Dr. Brown listened and not only heard but  new  surgeries  at  St.  Peter’s,  robotic-assisted  surgery
     understood my fears, concerns, and questions. He  can have many bene  ts, including shorter hospital
     has excellent communication skills and took the  stays, reduced pain, and faster recovery times.    e
     time to explain my treatment options. He also saw  introduction of the robotics program at St. Peter’s is
     the need for me to also see Dr. William Krause,  part of a $10 million operating room renovation project
     FCCP, Pulmonologist, who listened with concern and  scheduled to be completed in 2020. When completed,
     provided the necessary time for me to fully understand  St. Peter’s will have six state-of-the-art surgical suites.
     and address my health concerns and laid out a plan
     for treatment for pulmonary care. I was also able to
     spend some very informative and bene  cial time with
     the Anesthesiologist, Dr. Joe Murphy who gave ample
     time for my questions and did not rush our meeting;
     he made me feel really comfortable as I had never
     been under general anesthesia before and was very
     uncomfortable with the idea. But he was  concerned
     and  caring  and  explained  things  well.  Collectively
     these three physicians made me feel at ease and
     prepared to have a successful surgery experience.
        ey are all a great asset to St. Peter’s and the Helena
     community.
      Montana Freemason                                                                       Page 8                                                March 2020   Volume 96 No. 2
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