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Severance doctor conducts 3,000 robotic urology surgeries
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.07.07 16:44
  • Updated 2017.07.07 16:44
  • comments 0

Professor Choi Yong-deuk of the Severance Hospital세브란스병원 has conducted 3,000 urological surgeries using robots for the first time in Asia, the hospital announced Friday.

Choi performed his first robot operation in August 2005, marked the 1,000th surgery in May 2012, and added 2,000 more cases over the past five years to become an authority on robotic urological surgery.

Prostate cancer surgery (radical prostatectomy) accounts for about 85 percent of the 3,000 cases. As the prostate is located inside the pelvic bone, the site where the cancer has developed is hidden and needs to be viewed from the side, but a robot can send its camera deep inside the spot and magnify it up to 10 times, having greater advantages than human doctors do.

This can minimize structural damage associated with postoperative complications such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, as well as damage to adjacent areas such as the rectum or ureter.

Professor Choi Yong-deuk최영득 delivers a speech during his “3,000 Urology Robot Surgery Ceremony” held at Severance Hospital Wednesday.

With the merits of robotic surgery and Professor Choi's ability, many patients have received new, cancer-free life, the hospital said. Approximately 50 percent of patients with prostate cancer robotic surgery were in the high-risk group, and about two-thirds of them were phase-3 patients or worse. Choi has been performing robotic surgery for advanced prostate cancer, as well as localized prostate cancer.

Professor Choi is known for his accurate and quick operations. Prostate cancer robot surgery takes about an hour and a half to complete, but he has long finished it in only 30 minutes using robots. Short operating time is one of the important factors for the rapid recovery of patients.

Professor Choi has also tried to improve the cure rates based on the multidisciplinary treatment system with various related departments, including colon anatomy, tumor medicine, radiation oncology, and radiology.

In commemoration of achieving 3,000 cases, a ceremony was held at the hospital Wednesday.

"Thanks to the medical staff, it was possible to perform 3,000 surgeries," Choi said. "I hope younger doctors will give hope to more patients through robotic surgery.”


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