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New Jersey
Surgeons at Saint Barnabas Medical Cente Perform Tri-States First Robotic Bladder Creation Surgeries
Story Number is : 100707127
Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Two urologists and a general surgeon at Saint Barnabas Medical Center recently performed New Jersey’s first robotic bladder creation surgery on a 63-year-old Belleville man who was able to leave the hospital three days after the procedure.
Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, Domenico Savatta, M.D., attending urologist at Saint Barnabas and Chief of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Adult Urologic Surgery at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Brent Yanke, M.D., attending urologist at Saint Barnabas; and Adam Kopelan, M.D., attending general surgeon at Saint Barnabas and Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at NBIMC, removed Mr. James Jiosi’s bladder and prostate and then used the robotic system to create a new bladder from a section of his intestine.

“This groundbreaking procedure reinforces that we can perform the most complicated urologic operations using the 3-D robotic system with increasing experience,” says Dr. Savatta, who was the first robotic surgeon in N. J. to perform a robotic bladder removal in 2005, and who taught the first da Vinci S training course in the Northeast for urologists and surgeons from as far away as Asia and South America.

Mr. Jiosi, who had the cystectomy performed for the treatment of his bladder cancer, opted for the robotic system as an alternative to traditional open surgery which requires an extensive incision and a long recovery time. Hospitalization from open surgery is generally six to eight days and commonly requires a blood transfusion. In addition, use of the robotic system results in reduced scarring, minimal discomfort and less need for major pain medication.

“The next day, when I woke up in the hospital, I didn’t even feel like I had surgery, says Mr. Jiosi. “I was up and around as soon as I came home and only had a few puncture holes instead of a big incision. Dr. Savatta is an excellent surgeon and the entire medical team was outstanding.”

First diagnosed with early stage bladder cancer in March, Mr. Jiosi visited attending Saint Barnabas Medical Center urologist Jeffrey I. Katz, M.D. FACS, who treated him and then gave a referral to Dr. Savatta. After the successful surgery, Mr. Jiosi was pleased that a bladder was created for him, eliminating the need for a urostomy bag.
“It functions just like a regular bladder,” he relates. “I’m sure if I had the bag instead it would have limited me a lot more in my everyday life. This is much better.”
A Complicated Procedure

The treatment of invasive bladder cancer includes the removal of the bladder and it is one of the most complicated urologic surgeries. After removing the bladder, the replacement is constructed from a piece of intestine to allow for the storage of urine. Mr. Jiosi’s surgery lasted eight hours and resulted in a four centimeter incision in the lower abdomen.

Benefits of doing the entire surgery—bladder removal and reconstruction—using robotic technology include: reduced blood loss, less post-operative pain, shorter recovery time, and less scarring. The robotic procedure is designed to spare delicate nerve and muscle tissue and lower the chance that the patient will need a blood transfusion.

“Future applications of robotic surgery are tremendous and we expect this technology to continually improve for the benefit of patients,” says Dr. Savatta.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci® Surgical System allows surgeons to interactively control movements via an interactive console in the operating room. It acts as an extension of the physician’s hands and benefits for the surgeon include improved dexterity, increased range of motion and enhanced visualization. There were almost 50,000 robotic surgeries done worldwide in 2006; 229 were robotic cystectomies.
For More Information

For information about this procedure, please contact Associates in Urology at (973) 325-6100. Drs. Savatta and Yanke are part of a 9-urology private practice urology group located in West Orange, NJ. Dr. Savatta is an expert in robotic surgery for the treatment of bladder, kidney, and prostate cancer. Dr. Yanke is fellowship trained in minimally invasive urology,

Dr. Kopelan is a member of Millburn Surgical Associates in Millburn, NJ. He is an expert in advanced laparoscopic and robotic general surgery.

The Department of Surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center is comprised of 16 surgical, diagnostic and support sections, and combines the skills of Saint Barnabas' surgeons with expert perioperative care by specially trained nurses and other health care professionals. The Department provides a range of complete to minimally invasive cardiac procedures, cataract surgery, laser surgery, plus non-invasive diagnostic testing for major and peripheral artery disease. Visit for more information or call 1-888-SBHS-123.

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