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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     November 1, 2011
                                                                                                                                  For more information
                                                                                                                       CONTACT: Media Relations
                                                                                                                                            (718) 780-5367

New York Methodist Hospital Named a Robotic Surgery Epicenter

New York Methodist Hospital was recently named a "Center of Excellence Epicenter for Robotic Thoracic Surgery," the first such center in the Northeast and the third in the United States. The designation means that the Hospital will be a training facility for physicians from throughout the United States, who will come to New York Methodist to observe robotic thoracic surgery. The daVinci surgical system, a powerful tool, was acquired by NYM last year.

Robot-assisted thoracic surgery was first introduced to New York Methodist Hospital by Richard S. Lazzaro, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery. Dr. Lazzaro is board-certified in both thoracic and general surgery and has performed over 3000 minimally invasive procedures. He received his training for these procedures at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center under James Luketich, M.D., one of the pioneers in the field of robotic surgery.

"The robot overcomes the limitations of traditional technology and helps physicians to perform complex surgery in new ways," said Dr. Lazzaro. "One of the benefits in introducing robot-assisted surgery to NYM is that now approximately 90 percent of our patients are treated using minimally invasive techniques. This means that 90 percent of our patients are healing more quickly and leaving the Hospital faster. These are only some of the benefits of robotic technology."

Dr. Lazzaro performed the first daVinci robotic pneumonectomy in the five boroughs and one of the first daVinci video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomies in the United States. "We are extremely grateful to Dr. Lazzaro for introducing robotic-assisted surgery for the performance of minimally invasive major thoracic procedures, to NYM," said Anthony J. Tortolani, M.D., chairman of surgery and chairman of cardiothoracic surgery. "We are also excited that NYM will initiate educational programs across the New York metro area to increase awareness of the surgical practice."

The daVinci robotic system provides three-dimensional visualization and enhanced dexterity, which enables the surgeon to operate through small keyhole incisions, providing increased precision. Minimally invasive surgery has been associated with decreased bleeding, decreased need for blood transfusions, and less of a detrimental effect to a patient's immune system as compared to open surgery. In addition, patients experience less pain, a shorter length of stay and earlier return to their normal activities of daily living. Patients are more likely to complete post-surgical adjuvant therapy after minimally invasive surgery than with open surgery.

Robotic surgery is also used in urology, gynecology, and gynecologic oncology surgery at New York Methodist Hospital.

Richard S. Lazzaro, M.D.

Richard S. Lazzaro, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery.

The daVinci robotic system
The daVinci robotic system.



New York Methodist Hospital (NYM), a voluntary, acute-care teaching facility located in Brooklyn's Park Slope, houses 651 inpatient beds (including bassinets) and provides services to about 42,000 inpatients each year. In addition, approximately 500,000 outpatient visits and services are logged annually. The Hospital, founded in 1881, has undergone extensive renovation and modernization over the years. NYM has Institutes in the following areas: Advanced and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Advanced Otolaryngology, Asthma and Lung Disease, Cancer Care, Cardiology and Cardiac SurgeryDiabetes and Other Endocrine Disorders, Digestive and Liver Disorders, Healthy Aging, Neurosciences, Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery, Vascular Medicine and Surgery and Women's Health. New York Methodist Hospital is affiliated with the Weill Cornell Medical College and is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System.