Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM
Tuesday, Feb 21 at 6:15 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Technology new to San Antonio is helping surgeons operate more precisely. The technique involves fluorescent green dye and a robot.
Rene’ DeLaCruz of San Antonio had cancer surgery on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Doctors removed a suspicious mass on his kidney. New technology helped keep the organ intact.
“I think that’s really great because they don’t cut or take more than they need of my kidneys” DeLaCruz commented.
In a procedure at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Dipen Parekh used the da Vinci robot to remove DeLaCruz’s tumor. It was a cyst the size of a golf ball. A special dye lit it up.
“We actually inject the fluorescent dye in the vein of a patient and that lights up the vasculature, or the blood supply to the kidney,” Parekh explained.
The result is incredible. The fluorescent dye is activated by near-infrared light. The blood-rich tumor soaks up the dye, differentiating it from healthy tissue.
The surgeon, sitting at a console several feet away, is able to operate remotely, guided by a three-dimensional HD image. The stability of the robot combined with the dye is the newest way to visualize cancer and remove the deadly threat.
“It’s still very early,” Parekh said. “It’s new. And like any other technology, it needs to be tested before being accepted as a standard of care.”
For DeLaCruz, the best news is that he will have near normal kidneys.
“He will have two functional kidneys still with him,” Parekh stated, “and he’ll be cancer free.”
Doctors at CHRISTUS have been using the combination of the dye and the robot for about two months now with great success. It may help with prostate surgeries, too.