|Michael Rittenberg, M.D.|
Last week, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital became the first hospital in Northeastern Pa. to use a new near-infrared fluorescence imaging guidance system called Firefly, for tumor identification and delineation from normal renal tissue in patients with kidney tumors.
Used in conjunction with the advanced da Vinci Si Surgical System, Firefly enables fine assessment and precise localization of tumors. Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is among a small group of hospitals in the country to have this technology.
The specially designed camera and endoscopes allow surgeons at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to capture images of blood vessels, tumors and tissues by injecting a unique fluorescence dye that is activated by near-infrared light. Real-time application of the technology coupled with 3-D visualization and fully articulating instruments, enable a more accurate identification of critical vessels and tissue during surgery.
Urologist Michael Rittenberg, M.D., who performed the first-of-its-kind procedure, says the combination of 3-D HD camera with florescence imaging greatly enhances the surgeon’s view of the surgical field. “This technology is so precise that we can selectively remove tumor and leave the normal kidney tissue behind," Rittenberg says.
The use of Firefly technology in conjunction with the da Vinci robot is a definite improvement over traditional surgery, according to urologist Alexandria Lynch, M.D. “Firefly further advances the benefit of robotic surgery for better patient outcomes,” says Dr. Lynch. “I’m delighted to be able to offer it to my patients.”
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital acquired its first da Vinci surgical system in 2010, and a second, advanced da Vinci Si-model robot in 2012. The hospital currently uses the robotic system to perform urology, gynecology and general surgery procedures.