“It is amazing to me that Beebe is able to bring such innovative technology to the community,” says Charley Senick as he reflects on the surgery he had at Beebe’s Center for Robotic Surgery.
The surgery, which removed one-third of Charley’s lung, was performed by Kurt Wehberg, MD, board certified and fellowship trained cardiothoracic surgeon with Beebe Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr Wehberg is also Chief of Robotics and Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Beebe.
“Charley was a good candidate for robotically assisted surgery because he was otherwise healthy. He had quit smoking nine years ago and his lab work and cardiac stress test were all in good shape,” said Dr. Wehberg.
Utilizing Beebe’s da Vinci Xi Surgical System, Dr. Wehberg was able to guide the surgical tools through just a few small incisions. Dr. Wehberg’s surgical team was be able to watch the entire time thanks to the da Vinci’s 3D real-time video screen.
“Everything was so smooth. All the people were friendly, they explained everything to us – it was really just a well-oiled machine,” recalls Mary Senick, Charley’s wife.
The surgery took about two hours. During the procedure, the operating room nurse stayed in touch with Mary to assure her everything was going well. Mary and her friends were able to relax in the waiting room and follow Charley’s progress on the waiting room screen.
“After it was done, Dr. Wehberg came walking out and as soon as I saw him, he had a big smile on his face and he told me Charley was great,” Mary said. “I was so relieved and couldn’t wait to see him.”
Charley had the surgery on a Thursday morning. By the afternoon, he was ready to sit in a chair and enjoy a cup of coffee. And, by Friday at lunchtime, he was in the car with Mary headed for home.
Charley and Mary say they are thrilled every day for every moment. It gives Charley more time to continue to beat Mary at cards and Rummikub – one of their favorite games. It also gives them time to plan to travel to see family and to get to Disney World – one of their favorite travel destinations.
“When we heard cancer, I thought, this is it, this is terminal. It’s amazing what innovative technology is out there today and even more incredible to have it right here at Beebe,” Mary said. “We could not have asked for a better experience – or a better outcome. We are so lucky to have Beebe. Now, I have more time to try to win at cards and we can spend more time together – even though we are never going to grow up!”
Learn more about Beebe’s Center for Robotic Surgery: www.beebehealthcare.org/robotic-surgery.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. If you or a loved one smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Beebe offers free smoking cessation counseling, in addition to the advanced lung program: www.beebehealthcare.org/smoking.