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Robots Being Used For Scar-Free Surgery In Boston

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill Kate Merrill
Kate Merrill is an Emmy award winning journalist for WBZ-TV News. She...
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BOSTON (CBS) – “They had found a mass on my left ovary that was the size of a grapefruit.”

To see her walk down the street you’d never know Daveen Balliro of Charlestown recently underwent major surgery to remove that cyst.

“It’s two weeks post-surgery and I’m in no pain,” says Daveen.

Pain-free, this school nurse smiles while reading all the get-well cards from her students.

“In the past when I’ve had abdominal surgery I’ve been in the hospital for a few weeks and it took a long time to recover.”

This time she was in and out of the hospital in just a few hours all because of a first-of -its-kind robotic surgery.

“When you apply to women’s health, especially the young women we deal with, it becomes a big deal.” explains Dr. Antonio Gargiulo of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The Boston hospital is one of only 20 centers in the country using this innovative procedure.

“A big cyst, a hysterectomy…. it involves a number and size of small incisions that is, in general, disturbing cosmetically to women,” says Dr. Gargiulo.

Now it can be virtually scar-free.

A surgeon sitting at a nearby console guides a robot in through the belly button for the entire operation. A camera provides a magnified 3-D view every step of the way.

Surgeons can train for this procedure countless times in a simulator –similar to training for airline pilots. Dr. Gargiulo says that will ultimately lead to safer operations for all patients down the road.

Daveen says her incision healed beautifully.

“It looks like there is nothing even there,” she told WBZ-TV.

Daveen only found out after her operation that she was the first woman in Massachusetts to have this high-tech surgery.

“It’s just amazing to think they can do it like this…. to be able to have such a huge surgery in a few hours and be out on the street and back to normal life within two weeks was such a gift.”

MORE HEALTH NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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