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Robotic Surgery

State-of-the-art robotic technology allows the surgeon’s hands to make the precise movement of micro-instruments through small surgical incisions.

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The robotic surgical system gives surgeons an alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy by putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic system that gives them unmatched precision, even in the most complex and delicate procedures.

The system cannot be programmed or make decisions on its own. Every surgical maneuver is performed with direct input from the surgeon.

Robot-assisted surgery is one of the most effective, least invasive surgical treatments available. With the assistance of the robotic surgical system, surgeons can operate using only 1- to 2- centimeter incisions, while maintaining greater precision and control than ever before.

If your physician recommends surgery as part of treatment, ask if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive approach like robotic surgery. 


Benefits of robotic surgery may include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A shorter recovery time
  • A faster return to normal daily activities
  • And in many cases, better clinical outcomes


The following specialties and surgeons perform robot-assisted surgery at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital: 


Colorectal Surgery

The application of robotic surgery in treatment of complex conditions of the colon and rectum has revolutionized the field of colorectal surgery.  With robotic surgery, colorectal surgeons have gained 3D visualization and maneuverability in difficult to access pelvic spaces to perform life-saving surgeries for colorectal cancer and non-cancer conditions with small incisions.

In addition, the enhanced magnification provided with robotic surgery helps the surgeon minimize trauma to important nerves which improves preservation of important quality of life factors such as urinary and sexual function.

A colorectal surgeon at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital uses the robot to perform:

  • Sphincter-sparing colon and rectal resection (for colon cancer, rectal cancer)
  • Rectopexy for rectal prolapse
  • Combined pelvic reconstruction for pelvic organ prolapse

Pinehurst Surgical

5 FirstVillage Drive

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 295-0889

Reid C. Vegeler, M.D.

General Surgery

Robotic surgery is one of the most effective, least invasive surgical treatments available.  With the assistance of the da Vinci Surgical System, our surgeons can operate using only 1- to 2- centimeter incisions, while maintaining greater precision and control than ever before.

If your physician recommends surgery as part of your treatment, ask if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive approach like robotic surgery.   General surgeons at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital can perform the following procedures using robotic surgery:

Solid organ surgery:

  • Spleen
  • Anti-reflux surgery
  • Gallbladder 
  • Hiatal hernia repairs

Pinehurst Surgical

5 FirstVillage Drive

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 295-0889

David Grantham, M.D.

Bailey Sanders, M.D.

Samuel A. Heathcote, M.D.

Reid C. Vegeler, M.D.

Raymond G. Washington, M.D.


Gynecologic Oncology

Endometrial, or uterine, cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy.  In our experience, the great majority of these patients are eligible for robotic surgery.  Patients with early-stage cervical and ovarian cancer are also eligible for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

A gynecologic oncologist at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital can perform the following procedures using robotic surgery:

  • Evaluation & staging of tubo/ovarian malignancies
  • Uterine malignancies
  • Adrenal and pelvic masses
  • Diagnosis of lymphadenopathy
  • Familial and hereditary cancer including BRACA Syndromes and Lynch 2 Syndromes
  • Complex gynecological conditions such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids

FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology

located in FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center

220 Page Road North

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 715-8684

Michael J. Sundborg, M.D.


For complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures such as gynecologic cancer-staging procedures, investigation of abnormal ovarian/pelvic masses, myomectomies, and vaginal and bladder suspensions, robot assisted surgery may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option.

Through tiny, 1- to 2- centimeter incisions, surgeons using the robotic surgical system can operate with greater precision and control, minimizing the pain and risk associated with large incisions while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital gynecology specialists use the robotic surgical system for the following:

  • Sacrocolpopexy for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse
  • Evaluation and treatment of tubo/ovarian masses
  • Hysterectomy for benign / early uterine cancer disease 
  • Treatment of endometriosis 
  • Evaluation of pelvic or abdominal masses
  • Pelvic reconstruction
  • Removal of uterine fibroids

Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, a FirstHealth Clinic

145 Applecross Road

Southern Pines, NC 28387

(910) 692-7928

Walter S. Fasolak, D.O.


Pinehurst Surgical

5 FirstVillage Drive

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 295-0290

Shayna S. Jones, M.D.

Lissette Machin, M.D.

Taylor S. McCauley, M.D.

Ryan B. Nance, D.O.

Stephen A. Szabo, M.D


Thoracic Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery is used by cardiovascular & thoracic surgeons for Lobectomy.

Lobectomy is the surgical removal of one of the lobes of the lung, most often to treat cancer. 

Robotic thoracic surgery is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia.  The surgeon makes four small incisions on the patient's side and inserts special surgical instruments and a scope with a tiny video camera at the end.  The instruments are connected to the arms of the daVinci Robot. 

The robot cannot move itself.  The surgeon sits at a nearby console and controls all of the Robot's movements while watching the progress on a three-dimensional video monitor.  Because the daVinci Robot has "wristed" instruments that move as the surgeon moves his or her fingers, hands, and wrists, the surgeon has excellent dexterity, precision and control. 

The surgeon removes the affected lobe of the lung and nearby lymph nodes through one of the incisions.  The surgical instruments are then removed and the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures.

How Robotic Lobectomy Compares to Other Procedures

For many years, an operation for lung cancer involved open surgery, which required a large incision and spreading of the ribs to allow access to the lung.

A procedure called VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery) lobectomy is a type of minimally invasive lung cancer surgery.  Performed through small incisions without the need to spread the ribs, VATS lobectomy offered less pain, shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery.

With VATS, the instruments inserted through the incisions are rigid and lack dexterity, and the images projected by the camera used for the procedure are only two-dimensional instead of three-dimensional.

Cardiovascular & thoracic surgeons at FirstHealth have found the daVinci Xi Robot has distinct advantages over VATS in performing lobectomies including surgical instruments that are more precise with a wider range of motion and better visibility with three dimensional imaging.

Benefits of Robotic Lobectomy

  • Smaller incisions.  This means the patient can recover more quickly and get back to their daily activities sooner.
  • Less pain compared to standard incisions.  The chest wall is sensitive and surgery can aggravate the nerves within it, but robotic procedures can be done with smaller incisions in the lower part of the chest where the space between the ribs is greater.
  • Quicker return home.
  • Better ability to determine if cancer has spread.  Robotic lobectomy allows for more careful and thorough dissection of the lymph nodes, where lung cancer might be hiding.  Knowing if cancer is present in the lymph nodes helps determine the stage of the cancer and whether additional therapy is warranted.  If lymph nodes are involved, additional chemotherapy can significantly improve survival, so removal of lymph node and accuracy of staging is critically important.  The da Vinci Robot facilitates a meticulous and thorough dissection of each patient's lymph nodes.

FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center

located in Reid Heart Center

120 Page Road

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 715-4111 or (877) 715-4111

Peter I. Ellman, M.D., FACS

William C. Kitchens, M.D.



If your urologist recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a new, less-invasive approach called da Vinci Prostatectomy.  This approach to prostatectomy provides access to the internal anatomy through five small incisions.  The surgeon is empowered to perform a very precise, nerve-sparing operation with the da Vinci Surgical System.  For the patient, da Vinci Prostatectomy may result in more complete eradication of cancer, as well as retention of bladder control and potency.

da Vinci Surgery, a minimally invasive approach that uses the latest in surgical and robotic technologies, is ideal for delicate urologic surgery.  This includes prostatectomy, in which the target site in not only tightly confined but also surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function.

Urologists at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital perform the following robotic-assisted surgeries:

  • Prostatectomy
  • Nephrectomy
  • Pyeloplasty
  • Partial Nephrectomy
  • Adrenalectomy

Pinehurst Surgical

5 FirstVillage Drive

Pinehurst, NC 28374

(910) 215-2528 

Robert J. Chamberlain Jr., M.D.

Greg L. Griewe, M.D.

John R. Michalak. M.D.



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