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Whipple Procedure

Making Strides in the Robotic Race

TrueBeam isn’t the only technology that has put Miami Valley Hospital on the map when it comes to innovative cancer care. In 2013, MVH surgical oncologists were among the first in the state to perform a robotic pancreaticoduodenectomy (also known as a Whipple Procedure). The only other hospital in Ohio to perform this procedure robotically is the Cleveland Clinic.

Oncologists perform the Whipple Procedure on individuals who have a cancerous or non-cancerous tumor on their pancreas or surrounding organs. The procedure involves removing the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, the bile duct and parts of the stomach and the small intestine. For the past 80 years, surgeons have performed this procedure only through open surgery.

The minimally-invasive robotic approach allows surgeons to remove the same organs through five small incisions around the patient’s abdomen—rather than through a large incision. This can mean less pain, faster recovery times, minimized scarring and less blood loss.

“Not everyone is a candidate for this new approach,” said Minia Hellan, MD, medical director of MVH Robotic Surgical Oncology and assistant professor at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. “The first patient who underwent the robotic Whipple Procedure at Miami Valley Hospital was a good candidate because she was slim, did not have a large cancer invading vital vessels, had not had radiation therapy before and had no history of pancreatitis.”

Even with a robotic Whipple Procedure, most patients still spend some recovery time in the hospital because of the surgery’s impact on internal organs. But, patients don’t have to contend with the long healing process that accompanies a large incision.

“Our patient was back to many normal, everyday activities much quicker than someone undergoing a Whipple Procedure through traditional surgery,” said James Ouellette, DO, a surgical oncologist and associate professor at WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Content Updated: November 28, 2014

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These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Cancer Care Services.
Breast Center at Miami Valley Hospital North
9000 N. Main St. Englewood, OH  45415
Cancer Care at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Cancer Care at Miami Valley Hospital North
9000 N. Main St. Englewood, OH  45415
Cancer Care at Miami Valley Hospital South
2300 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
Gynocologic Oncology Center at Miami Valley Hospital South
2300 Miami Valley Dr. Suite 260 Centerville, OH  45459
High Risk Breast Cancer Center at Miami Valley Hospital North
9000 N. Main St. Englewood, OH  45415
High Risk Breast Cancer Center at Miami Valley Hospital South
2400 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
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