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Methodist Dallas Leader in North Texas with First Fully Robotic Whipple Surgery
Dr. Alejandro Mejia led the team that performed the first robotic Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer in North Texas
Alejandro Mejia, MD

Methodist Dallas Medical Center is leading the way in robotic surgery, performing two firsts for North Texas including a fully robotic Whipple, or in medical terminology a pancreaticoduodenectomy, and liver resection. Both North Texas robotic firsts were performed by a team lead by Alejandro Mejia, MD, transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon with The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas.

“The Whipple procedure is one of the most common surgeries for pancreatic tumor removal,” says Dr. Mejia. “The addition of the robot into the surgical procedure enhances the patient’s care, typically reducing pain and shortening recovery time. At Methodist Dallas, we are now offering some of the most advanced hepatobiliary care in North Texas.”

Jimmy Patterson benefited from the robotic Whipple procedure for the removal of his pancreatic tumor. “I was home five days following surgery with five small incisions,” says Patterson. “They told me a typical hospital stay for Whipple surgery is seven to 10 days. I was also glad that the pain seemed to be less severe than I expected. I didn’t need the pain medicine when I got home.” The procedure allowed Patterson a faster recovery time from surgery and the advantage of being able to start chemotherapy and radiation treatment quicker to treat his pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Mejia performed the procedure using the da Vinci® Surgical System. To execute the minimally invasive procedure requires advanced skills and training in minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Mejia sits at a console viewing a three-dimensional image of the surgical field and then precisely manipulates small flexible instruments inserted through the incisions. “The robotic camera allows for magnified, high-definition viewing of organs,” says Dr. Mejia. “It results in benefits to the patient in a very meticulous operation.”

The robotic Whipple procedure is a significant advancement of a very complex operation for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The fully robotic Whipple procedure requires advanced technical abilities that only highly skilled surgeons successfully carry out. The robot benefits the surgeon by providing an enhanced three-dimensional view of the abdomen and advanced fluorescence to improve visualization of the blood vasculature in real time.

The Whipple procedure involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, gallbladder, bile duct, part of the stomach, and small intestine. Methodist Dallas is pleased to be joining an elite group of hospitals across the United States now offering advanced minimally invasive robotic hepatobiliary surgery, including fully robotic Whipple surgery.

About Methodist Health System
Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.MethodistHealthSystem.org. Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.MethodistHealthSystem.org/SocialMedia.


Robin Daniels


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