The future of medicine

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

There are many words you can use to describe Bill Bufton, but his friend may have picked the perfect one--dynamic.

The Kosciusko County man was called 'dynamic' moments before going into surgery. He has, or should we say, had prostate cancer. But you wouldn't know it by the laughs and smile on his face, and the faces of his family and friends.

"I have no fears, no anxieties, no worries at all," Bill says.

Bill's doctor, Dr. Anthony Avallone, is using a special technique to perform this operation. It's called the da Vinci Surgical System. Goshen Cancer Center is one of 14 facilities in the state and a few in the area to have this robotic equipment.

Dr. Avallone sits across the room from the patient and by moving his arms, the arms of the robot move inside the body.

"Instead of a normal straight instrument that has limited mobility, the instruments that the robot uses are like the wrist. You can move them in many directions, actually more than your wrist," Dr. Avallone explains.

The doctor can see in 3-dimensional so the doctor gets a realistic image if inside the body.

The technique also allows for a quicker recovery.

"...quicker return to normal activities....less pain and discomfort," says Avallone.

Dr. Avallone joining the staff is as exciting for the hospital as the machine he uses. He has extensive experience with the da Vinci and is well known in the field as a urological oncologist mastering in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.

About four hours into the surgery, Dr. Avallone uses the robotic arms to remove Bill's prostate. You can literally see him take the cancer out of the patient's body.

The surgery may have taken hours, but it was only minutes before Bill was smiling again.

You can see video from the operation here, but do realize this is a surgery so the images may be disturbing to you.

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