Wilkes-Barre General Hospital recently became the first hospital in Northeastern Pa. to use a new near-infrared fluorescence imaging guidance system called Firefly, for tumor identification and delineation from normal renal tissue in patients with kidney tumors.
Used in conjunction with the advanced Robotic Surgical System, Firefly enables fine assessment and precise localization of tumors. Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is among a small group of hospitals in the country to have this technology.
The specially designed camera and endoscopes allow surgeons at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to capture images of blood vessels, tumors and tissues by injecting a unique fluorescence dye that is activated by near-infrared light. Real-time application of the technology coupled with 3-D visualization and fully articulating instruments, enable a more accurate identification of critical vessels and tissue during surgery.
Urologist Michael Rittenberg, M.D., says the combination of 3-D HD camera with florescence imaging greatly enhances the surgeon’s view of the surgical field. “This technology is so precise that we can selectively remove tumor and leave the normal kidney tissue behind," Rittenberg says.
The use of Firefly technology in conjunction with the da Vinci robot is a definite improvement over traditional surgery, according to urologist Alexandria Lynch, M.D., the newest addition to the robotics team at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. “The technology is so precise that we can selectively remove tumor using minimally invasive technology and leave the normal kidney tissue behind,” says Dr. Lynch. “This clearly shows how Firefly further advances the benefit of robotic surgery for better patient outcomes.”
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital acquired its first da Vinci surgical system in 2010, and a second, advanced da Vinci Si-model robot in 2012. Urologist Walter DelGaudio, M.D. says that in addition to increasing dexterity and control for surgeons, the new robotic system has clear patient benefits. “The new da Vinci Si Surgical System offers partial nephrectomy patients quicker recovery, less pain, less time in the hospital and a fewer post-operative complications,” says Dr. DelGaudio. “It’s meant a revolution in quality for our patients.”
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital currently uses the robotic system to perform urology, gynecology and general surgery procedures.