Children’s Urology Celebrates Five Years of Robotic Surgery Program

AUSTIN, TEXAS – (March, 2014) Children’s Urology is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its pediatric robotic assisted surgery program, the first and only of its kind in Central Texas. The Austin, Texas based-pediatric urology practice will commemorate the anniversary with the public in a Meet the Robot celebration on April 19 at the local children’s museum, Thinkery.

Pioneer Doctors, Exemplary Program

Currently based at Dell Children’s Medical Center, the robotic assisted surgery program is overseen by Children’s Urology physician, Dr. Danielle Sweeney, the first pediatric surgeon in the region to use the da Vinci surgical robot for pediatric procedures.

In 2011, the children’s hospital acquired the newest robotic surgical system da Vinci® Si™ with a teaching simulator to expand its minimally invasive surgical options. Since then, the hospital’s pediatric urology program led by Children’s Urology specialists has been recognized as a top program in the country for three years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

Robotic Benefits

Although referred to as a “robot”, Sweeney explains that procedures are completely controlled by the trained surgeon. “The da Vinci allows me to use my hands in a very precise and controlled manner, important for achieving the best possible outcomes for patients,” said Sweeney.

Since being trained on the device, Sweeney has performed several life-changing procedures including kidney and bladder reconstruction, ureteral re-implantation, & ureter reconstruction

Potential benefits of robotic surgery compared to conventional laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Faster recovery times
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Sweeney, one of just a handful of pediatric surgeons in Texas trained in robotic surgery seven years ago, says it was a natural fit for Children’s Urology to add the minimally invasive surgery technique. Commented Sweeney, “We’re committed to providing our patients and their families a broad array of treatment options for their most basic or complex needs.