Overland Park Regional Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—is one of just a few pediatric centers in the world and today had the first pediatric robotic surgeon in the Kansas City region perform surgery with the top-of-the-line surgical robot, daVinci Surgical System. The daVinci allows specially trained surgeons to accomplish complex, delicate operations through very small surgical openings.

Performing the surgery was Corey Iqbal M.D., a MEDNAX-affiliated Pediatric General Surgeon who practices at Overland Park Regional Medical Center and is the Medical Director of the Pediatric General Surgery Program.

“Our new pediatric surgeon, Dr. Corey Iqbal, is highly trained in laparoscopic surgeries in pediatric patients,” says Kevin J. Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Overland Park Regional Medical Center. “Single-incision surgeries are rare in pediatric patients, and many pediatric surgeons don’t use this technique because it is complex and requires advanced minimally invasive surgical skills and practice. We are a new pediatric center and by offering this service it shows our commitment to the advancement of pediatric services in the Kansas City region.”

The patient who underwent successful daVinci surgery today is 15-year-old Cheyleah Town of Olathe, Kan., who has experienced severe stomach pain for nearly two months. 

“I can’t eat any of my favorites foods,” Town says. “I crave Chinese food and Starbucks, but both have sent me to the Pediatric ER here twice.”

“Cheyleah was diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia, which is commonly diagnosed in teens,” says Corey W. Iqbal, M.D., Director of Pediatric and Fetal Surgery at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. “This means her gallbladder is hyperactive and not properly functioning, which caused her pain.”

Traditional surgery for Town would have meant removal of the gallbladder, including a large cut in the abdomen.

 “With robotic surgery, very small incisions are made,” Dr. Iqbal says. “The movement of the robot’s arms is very close to the true motion of a human wrist, making things like sewing easier to achieve. Surgeons can see the surgical field in three dimensions, unlike with traditional laparoscopic surgery where there is no depth perception. With traditional gallbladder removal, a patient may be in the hospital three to five days after surgery. With robotic surgery, Cheyleah will be able to go home today.”

Dr. Iqbal notes that robotic-assisted surgery can take less time even than laparoscopic surgical options.

“There is a relationship between time spent under anesthesia and complications after surgery,” he says. “A faster surgery means less anesthesia and fewer complications. This means our young patients, like Cheyleah, have better outcomes, less pain and no or shorter hospitals stays.”

Learn more about Pediatric Services at Overland Park Regional Medical Center at oprmc.com/pediatrics.

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