Dr. Dipen Parekh Live Streams Three Robotic Cancer Surgeries on Two Continents in 24 Hours

Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., one of the world’s most experienced surgeons for robotic-assisted urologic oncology, and a physician at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, recently demonstrated the benefits of these advanced procedures on two continents in 24 hours.

First, Parekh completed two procedures at University of Miami Hospital that were video streamed live to more than 200 physicians attending a two-day conference, “Controversies in Urological Surgical Oncology,” in Turin, Italy. Immediately afterwards, he flew to Italy to conduct a third live video streamed procedure at Aula Magna Molinette Hospital in Turin.

“Robotic surgery offers many advantages over traditional open surgery,” said Parekh, who is professor and Chair, Department of Urology, Director of Robotic Surgery, and The Victor A Politano Endowed Chair in Urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Noting that the University of Miami Health System was the first academic medical center in the world to acquire the da Vinci Xi robotic system, Parekh said the benefits to patients from robotic surgery include more precise procedures, smaller incisions and shorter recovery times.

“Most important, robotic oncology procedures can enhance patient outcomes, both in terms of survival and improved quality of life,” said Parekh, who has completed more than 4,000 robotic procedures and educated physicians in the United States, Latin America, India and Europe on robotic techniques.

The Turin conference, held September 22-23, was organized by the European Genito-Urinary Surgeons (eGUS) organization to demonstrate the contrasts between robotic-assisted and conventional surgery. The conference included lectures and panel discussions on clinical topics related to prostate and bladder cancer, as well as several open surgical procedures.

Using the da Vinci Xi robotic system, Parekh and his team at University of Miami Hospital first completed a radical prostatectomy, removing a patient’s cancerous prostate gland, while attendees at the Turin conference watched online. Working alongside Parekh were Mark Gonzalgo, M.D., professor of urology at the Miller School, and Sanjaya Swain, M.D., assistant professor of urology. Parekh used the same system to remove a cancerous bladder from the second patient — a procedure known as radical cystectomy — and then Gonzalgo also utilized the da Vinci Xi to perform a pelvic lymphadenectomy on the same patient.

After the second procedure, Parekh changed out of his surgical gown, picked up his suitcase and flew to Italy, accompanied by Swain. Upon arrival at Turin, he took part in a conference debate on robotic surgery and drove to Aula Magna Molinette Hospital. Using the hospital’s da Vinci Xi robotic system, he performed a third video streamed surgery, removing a complex cancerous tumor from a 69-year-old female patient’s kidney, while preserving most of the organ, a procedure known as partial nephrectomy. Post-surgery all three patients are doing well.

“The transatlantic live robotic surgeries from the University of Miami hospital witnessed by prominent European urologists in the Molinette hospital were flawless and proved to be a highlight of the urologic oncology conference,” said conference chairman, Dr. Paolo Gontero, associate professor of urology, University of Turin. “Dr. Parekh was then able to successfully display his surgical prowess in the Molinette hospital. The University of Miami Robotic Urology Program is a world-wide leader, and we look forward to a continued productive collaboration in the future.”

An expert in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of urologic malignancies, Parekh performs robotic cancer surgeries on the prostate, kidney and bladder, as well as the most complex and major open urologic cancer surgeries. He was principal investigator of the only National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial comparing open and robotic cystectomy for bladder cancer.

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