Press Release - March 11, 2005

For Immediate Release

March 11, 2005

John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


TYLER, TX – Officials with Trinity Mother Frances Health System announced the opening of the Center for Advanced Surgery and Technology, located at Mother Frances Hospital, which includes capabilities and technology found nowhere else in east Texas. The Center for Advanced Surgery and Technology (CASAT) includes two revolutionary da Vinci robotic surgery systems (a laparoscopic surgical robot that integrates the classic skills of the surgeon with the futuristic precision of a robot) and encompasses a wide range of technologically advanced tools including 3-D echocardiography, an Avanto MRI, which provides image clarity 100 times better than previous MRI technology, and the Stereotaxis magnetic assisted catheterization lab. A second Stereotaxis lab will be in place by July 2005.

Health System officials said patient benefits for robotic surgery can include less pain, fewer side effects, faster recovery, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, less risk of infection, faster return to daily activities and reduction in the surgical incision.

“Trinity Mother Frances Health System is one of only 25 multiple specialty robotic surgery sites in the country, and the only one in east Texas,” said Ray Thompson, FACHE, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. “We have been designated as a Center of Excellence by Intuitive Surgical, the company that designed and builds the da Vinci Robotic system.”

“Trinity Mother Frances Health System is proud to have not only the best equipment available, but also one of the leading cardiac surgeons in the nation providing care at Mother Frances Hospital,” said David K. Teegarden, MD, president and chief medical officer, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. “Dr. William Turner of Turner Cardiovascular Associates is one of the top minimally invasive robotic cardiac surgeons in the country, and one of only seven heart surgeons in the world to use daVinci to perform coronary artery bypass on a beating heart during a minimal incision operation. To date, Dr. Turner has performed 53 robot-assisted coronary artery bypass graft surgeries at Mother Frances Hospital. We are proud to offer this level of technology and skill to our patients right here in east Texas.”

“I am very exited to be a part of the advancements in cardiac care taking place at the Center for Advanced Surgery and Technology,” said William F. Turner, Jr., MD. “Heart patients are feeling less pain and discomfort and going home sooner because of da Vinci. As a physician, it is very rewarding to see patients benefiting from some of the most sophisticated technology in the world.”

da Vinci cannot make decisions or movements on its own. The surgeon makes all movements. But da Vinci makes the surgeon’s movements more precise, giving the surgeon more range of motion and providing enhanced 3-D visualization of the operating field. da Vinci technology has applications that benefit many types of surgical procedures. In addition to cardiac procedures, da Vinci is also being used to treat prostate cancer through radical prostatectomies.

“Prostate problems are very common in men over 50,” said Andrew K. Kirkpatrick, MD, Trinity Clinic Urology. “Recovery time can be long for patients who undergo a radical prostatectomy through traditional surgery. The da Vinci robotics system is providing many of the same benefits for prostate patients as we see in cardiac patients, including less pain and faster recovery.”

“We will have ongoing da Vinci, Stereotaxis and other technical training for physicians of different specialties from all over the United States,” said David K. Teegarden, MD. “Medical leaders from prestigious institutions such as Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. have visited Trinity Mother Frances to view the technology available here, and we have a waiting list of physicians and nurses who have requested to visit.”

Other technologies available at the Trinity Mother Frances Center for Advanced Surgery and Technology include: A 3-D echocardiography diagnostic tool that provides physicians with amazingly detailed images of the heart. The 3D Echo provides some of the clearest images ever available of the human heart and is assisting cardiologists at Mother Frances Hospital in implementing more accurate and faster treatment programs. Stereotaxis, which provides cardiologists a means of reaching areas of the heart that require angioplasty and stenting that previously could not have been treated with an interventional catheterization. And the Avanto MRI, a magnetic resonance imaging system that can scan a patient’s entire body in 12 minutes using total imaging matrix technology (TIM). Avanto is the first MRI system based on TIM, which dramatically changes and improves magnetic resonance imaging with clarity never before available.

For more information on services available through the Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology at Trinity Mother Frances Health System, visit or call TeleCare Plus at 903-531-5678, or outside Tyler at 800-535-9799.

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