At Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, the Future of Healing is High Tech | Information Center
Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare is committed to providing cutting edge patient care across East Bay.
From robots that help with surgery and reduce recovery times to innovative devices that treat stubborn back pain associated with hernias, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare harnesses cutting-edge technology to bring the best care closer to home.
Here is an overview of these and other new technologies that provide patients with high-quality orthopedic, cancer and cerebrovascular care, as well as an overview of the changes being made to the Ambulatory Surgery Center to expand and improve its services.
The da Vinci surgical system
Helped by the Da Vinci surgical system, surgeons can perform complex operations with only tiny incisions to minimize pain, bleeding, and recovery time. In one of the first surgeries to use the Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare system, doctors removed a woman’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes to treat her endometrial cancer.
The woman said she felt “pretty good” three days after the operation and was recovering “incredibly quickly”.
How it works: Two surgeons work in tandem during an operation: one controls a robotic arm to perform the operation, while the other stays at the patient’s bedside.
The first surgeon manipulates the arm, which is equipped with a small camera, surgical tools, and other delicate instruments. While the surgeon is working, the camera displays three-dimensional images of the surgical site on a monitor. The surgeon views these images to help guide the arm and tools to the surgical site and conduct the operation. The doctor at the bedside carefully observes the patient during the procedure.
“With the support of the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, we were able to make this important investment to improve the care we provide to our community and provide our patients with faster recovery, less pain and a faster return to their daily activities.” , said Rick shumway, Stanford Health Care – President and CEO of ValleyCare.
Prevention and repair of rehernia
Over a decade ago Eugene Carragee, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery at Stanford Medicine, began researching why between 5% and 20% of patients who have had surgery to repair herniated spinal discs experienced painful recurrences of the disease.
A spinal hernia occurs when the soft internal tissue of a person’s intervertebral disc passes through the hard outer layer, pinching the nerves and causing pain. While the surgery, called a discectomy, is usually straightforward and successful, research by Carragee has shown that the likelihood of a rehernia is related to the size of the injury, or hole, created by the original hernia. Now, during a short surgery, doctors use a closure device to block the hole and prevent the hernias from coming back. Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare is the first in California to use the device.
How it works: The device, called Barricaid, consists of a woven mesh attached to a titanium anchor that is implanted into the bone. The mesh blocks the opening created in the outer layer of the spinal cord, where the soft tissue had hollowed out and pinched the nerves.
Knee replacement robot
In January, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new robotic device that helps with complete knee replacements – delicate surgeries that can require a significant recovery time. The device allows physicians to customize the placement of knee replacement prostheses to suit each patient’s anatomy and reduce damage to surrounding soft tissue, thereby decreasing pain and potentially shortening recovery.
“It’s no longer one size fits all,” said Aaron Salyapongse, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopedics at Stanford Medicine and medical director of joint replacement at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare. Doctors, nurses and surgical staff at the hospital are being trained in the use of the equipment, and the first surgery is expected to take place in early October.
How it works: During surgery, the table-mounted robotic device, called the VELYS robotic assistance solution, records a patient’s knee, continuously scans and sends images to a monitor so that the surgeon can analyze the position of the joint. The machine is equipped with a tool that allows physicians to accurately execute the personalized surgical plan.
“The goal is to provide the best possible surgery and knee replacement for each patient,” said Salyapongse. “With this device, we’ve added a whole new layer of data that gives us that capability.”
Advanced ambulatory care on the horizon
In spring 2022, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare will launch its Livermore outpatient surgery center under a new license, allowing advanced level outpatient procedures in a non-hospital setting. The change aims to streamline operations, specialize the services offered and improve outpatient care.
The outpatient surgery center operates on the Livermore campus of Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare.
Among other services, doctors at the center will perform orthopedic procedures, such as total hip and knee replacement surgery, as well as ophthalmological and gastrointestinal procedures, such as colonoscopies.
To support procedures that were previously only available in hospitals, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare is improving sterile treatment in the outpatient setting and purchasing new operating room lamps, tables and surgical instruments.
“The license change to a stand-alone facility gives us the ability to expand the procedures available at Livermore and allows us to streamline operational and clinical efficiency,” said Kyle Wichelmann, CFO of Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare. “Ultimately, this helps provide better patient care at a more affordable cost. ”