Dr. Williams Performs 100th da Vinci Robotic Surgery

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the first healthcare system in the region to have standardized to an all-4th Generation da Vinci Robotics System platform, the most advanced surgical robotic system available on the market. The dedication of surgeons such as Dr. Williams and her team allows St. Elizabeth to provide the highest quality care to our patients. Along with thoracic, we currently offer robotic procedures in the specialties of general surgery, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, urogynecology, urology and bariatric. St. Elizabeth expects to perform 1,900 robotic procedures in 2019.

To Dr. Williams, it’s just another way to help her patients, “The robot is an excellent tool that allows me to perform intricate surgery in a minimally Invasive way allowing quicker recovery and less pain for my patients.”

Robotic surgery allows our surgeons the ability to move patients from open procedures to procedures that require smaller and fewer incisions. The benefits are less hospital time, getting our patients back home to their families and friends with reduced pain and discomfort, faster recovery times and reduced risk of infections.

St. Elizabeth has seven da Vinci systems overall, including six of the 4th Generation, known as da Vinci Xi and da Vinci X. Learn more about our fleet of da Vinci robots right here.

Know Your Risk

While Ginny’s lung cancer has no known cause, tobacco smoke remains the largest risk factor for developing lung cancer. The disease is a serious health concern across our state. Kentucky leads the nation in smoking and has more deaths from lung cancer than the next eight cancers combined, including breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Lung cancer can be a serious, deadly disease. However, the implementation of lung cancer screening is changing the outcomes for many people that are found to have lung cancer by detecting it early, when it is very curable.

“The most exciting advancement in lung cancer is screening,” Dr. Calhoun says. “We can target people who are at most risk for lung cancer and offer them a low-dose CT scan. It’s a safe, effective way to detect and diagnose lung cancer in its early stages, which ultimately leads to better treatment and outcomes. We are moving lung cancer screening to match the screening that occurs with mammography for breast cancer.”

The low-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer early. According to the NCCN Guidelines for Patients Lung Cancer Screening Version 1.2017, individuals may be a good candidate for a low-dose CT scan if they are:

  • Between 55 and 77 years old
  • A current smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have a 30-pack year history. Pack years are calculated by multiplying the number of years smoked. For example, if you smoked one pack a day for 30 years (1×30), that would equal a 30-pack year history. Smoking two packs a day for 15 years (2×15) would also equal a 30-pack year history.

A Team Approach to Care

Since coming to St. Elizabeth, Dr. Calhoun has been working to help advance the care and treatment available to individuals with lung cancer. At the heart of that is a multi-disciplinary approach where radiologists, pathologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons and medical and radiation oncologists work together to discuss the patient’s case, review the films, pathology and identify the best treatment plan for each individual, including clinical trials.

“Detecting, diagnosing and treating lung cancer is evolutionary,” he says. “When we work across disciplines, we get different perspectives, experience and knowledge that are all relevant to the same problem. We’re positioned to do what’s best for the patient at any stage of their treatment.”

Expert Care, Right Here

Ginny is thankful for not only the care she received but that the guidance, support and expertise she needed was so close to home. Dr. Calhoun’s approach is one that resonated with her, and with many of his other patients.

“It’s clear that Dr. Calhoun cares about his patients,” Ginny says. “He took the time to sit down and talk with me – to understand what I wanted from treatment, my history and interests. He used all that information, along with his own experience and knowledge, to make a recommendation that would be best for me.”

“I try to see everyone as an individual,” Dr. Calhoun says. “I recognize that what they are going through is scary. But, I’m also an expert in what I do with a lot of experience, so I’m well positioned to help them figure out their lung cancer situation and get the treatment that’s best for them.”

Dr. Williams and two other medical professionals hold a decorated cake for the 100th da Vinci Surgery.

Learn More

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the St. Elizabeth Thoracic Surgery office, please call
(859) 301-2465.

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For more information or to schedule an appointment with the St. Elizabeth Thoracic Surgery office, please call
(859) 301-2465.

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