In January, Dr. Gharagozloo performed the world’s first robot-assisted extrapleural pneumonectomy, a complex and difficult procedure often used on mesothelioma patients. The procedure required Dr. Gharagozloo to remove Mr. Tarazon’s left lung, the pleural lining of the affected lung area, diaphragm and part of the lining of the heart. Using the Da Vinci Surgical System Robot, the patient’s blood loss was greatly reduced along with his risk of infection and death. Because of this new approach to the procedure, Mr. Tarazon’s hospital stay was drastically shorter than that of a typical extrapleural pneumonectomy patient.
According to Dr. Gharagozloo, the benefits of the robot-assisted procedure can be seen as quickly as the next day. He says that it is the difference between a patient who is on a ventilator and a patient who is sitting on his bed and reading a book. Simply put, using the Da Vinci Surgical System Robot turned out to be a turning point in the results of an extrapleural pneumonectomy.
The mesothelioma team at the University of Arizona Medical Center believes that this could lead to a breakthrough in both how a mesothelioma patient is treated and the outcomes they will have. Dr. Gharagozloo has now performed two successful procedures on mesothelioma patients using the Da Vinci Robot.
As for Mr. Tarazon, he is back at home where he likes to work in the yard and is planning an upcoming vacation this Fall.
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