b'IN CRISIS COURAGELeft: Donna Brannock and Harrell Lightfoot, MDBelow: Dr. Lightfootwith the thoracicsurgery robotCOURAGEINL ast year, Donna Brannock had the kind of momentcardiothoracic we all fear. She found a growth on her chest.surgeon Steven At first, I kind of shook it off as nothing to be tooHendrickson, MD, concerned about, she says, but it was growing bigger,one of Dr. Lightfoots colleagues and surgical coleader CRISIS so I decided to have somebody check it out.of Cone Healths Multidisciplinary Thoracic That someone was Harrell Lightfoot, MD, aOncology Clinic (MTOC). The robot gives us the thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon at The Moses H.reach and dexterity inside where the procedure is done.Cone Memorial Hospital. When Donna went in forIn these procedures, the surgeon controls all the her appointment, they discovered it was cancer that hadmovements of the robot, which is why theyre called spread to her lungs. Dr. Lightfoot walked Donna throughrobotic-assisted surgeries. While the patient is asleep her initial shock and assured her he had a plan.under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes the His solution was to remove her cancer with roboticincisions and places ports for the robotic instruments. thoracic surgerya revolutionary advancement inThen the surgeon moves 10 feet to the console to conduct Donna Brannocks cancer diagnosis minimally invasive surgery.the surgery with robotic arms. These arms move with the was no match for doctor-patient trust andWe have our patients at the center of our thinkingsurgeons hands while a specialized camera bends and when we recommend robotic-assisted surgery, becauserotates within the surgical field, giving the surgeon a full advancements in robotic thoracic surgery. the outcomes are better, the surgery is more preciseview inside the rib cage. and less invasive, and the recovery is quicker with aYou have better vision and dexterity and can see and substantially reduced amount and duration of pain afterreach around corners that you were not able to do with the procedure, Dr. Lightfoot says. older technology, says Dr. Hendrickson.Rather than making a large incision to create accessDr. Lightfoot adds, When youre operating in an area and room to manipulate instruments, were able to do itthats surrounded by a boney cage, it really makes the through incisions about a half an inch in length, explainsoperations a lot easier and a lot safer. HEART & VASCULAR / 19'