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GSL Adds Robotic Assisted Technology
April 09, 2021

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. Geisinger St. Luke’s has debuted advanced robotic-assisted surgery technology that improves a patient’s surgical experience, allowing for a quicker recovery and return to previous activities.  


With the introduction of the da Vinci® Surgical System, the surgeons at Geisinger St. Luke’s can use the system’s ergonomic tools to perform “small incision” general surgeries, including gallbladder removal and hernia repair. Kristina Thornburg, D.O., a Geisinger general surgeon, performed the first robotic-assisted surgery at Geisinger St. Luke’s.


“Our experience has shown that robotic surgery has many benefits to the patient,” Thornburg said. “Robotic surgery allows the surgeon to have better visualization and superior range of motion when compared to traditional laparoscopic surgery. We are then able to provide more minimally invasive surgical options to the patient. The patients tend to have less pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery following a robotic procedure. This allows the patient to return to normal activities quicker after the surgery. Robotic hernia and gallbladder surgery are services we are now happy to offer here at Geisinger St. Luke’s.”

Robotic-assisted surgery is minimally invasive, and the surgeon controls robotic arms from a high-definition console and monitor. The monitor allows the surgeon to see fine details and critical structures more clearly for improved safety and have increased control for maximum precision.


As with all da Vinci Surgical Systems, the doctor is 100 percent in control of the robotic-assisted device, which translates hand movements into smaller, more precise actions of the instruments inside a patient's body.


This is the latest investment made by the Orwigsburg hospital, which is a joint venture between Geisinger Health System and St. Luke’s University Health Network. The partnership allows both health systems to bring resources together to advance care in the local communities.


“Bringing robotic surgery to Geisinger St. Luke’s is something we wanted to make happen for Schuylkill County and our surrounding communities,” said Gabe Kamarousky, MBA, FACHE president, Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital. “We’re committed to bringing care closer to home so people don’t have to travel elsewhere, and we’ll continue bringing specialty care and state-of-the-art technology to our patients.”