1,000 Robotic Procedures and Counting by Lufkin General Surgeon


For the 1,000th time, a Lufkin general surgeon delivered the highest level of minimally invasive care to a patient in need. Alan Bassin, M.D., with Angelina Surgical Associates, performed his 1,000th procedure using the da Vinci surgical robot at CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Lufkin, placing him in an elite group of surgeons across the country.

Patients who undergo robotic procedures, as opposed to open procedures, may experience reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and return to normal daily activities, and less scarring.

The 1,000th procedure involved a 55-year-old man undergoing a hernia repair. Dr. Bassin said the patient had a prior hernia repaired through an open procedure.

“We will be able to compare the two procedures directly and see how the patient feels regarding his recovery. We already know what the answer is going to be, but we’ll see what the patient has to say,” Dr. Bassin said. “When you’ve done that many robotic cases, it gives patients confidence that you have a good grasp on the technology. “Even [this]patient asked me how many cases I’ve done on the robot, and I was able to tell him that he’s number 1,000.”

Performing this landmark number of robotic cases in just six years is a remarkable achievement. Dr. Bassin is the 5th local surgeon to have accomplished this feat, including Urologist David Price, M.D., Gynecologist Kaywin Carter, M.D., Gynecologist Jerry Johnson, M.D. and General Surgeon Darry Meyer, D.O. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the hospital’s robotics teams have collectively performed nearly 5,000 surgical cases using the da Vinci robots. Together they are working toward CHI St. Luke’s Health becoming a Center of Excellence in robotic surgery.

“In this facility, you’ve got multiple surgeons in multiple specialties who have all performed over 1,000 cases. I think that, in and of itself, should draw patients here. Becoming a Center of Excellence will let

people know that we have surgeons here in Lufkin who have a considerably vast amount of experience,” Dr. Bassin said.

CHI St. Luke’s Health purchased one of the first da Vinci surgical robots in the state of Texas in 2007. In 2016, the hospital acquired the most technologically advanced da Vinci Xi Robot, and is currently the only hospital in the area to boast two robots, offering surgeons and patients better access to superior technology.

“CHI St Luke Health-Memorial’s mission to provide exceptional healthcare to our family, friends and neighbors requires that we stay up-to-date with the latest medical technology,” said Monte Bostwick, President & CEO of CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. “By combining highly trained surgeons and staff with the best technology available, we are able to perform some of the most highly complicated procedures, making sure our patients can stay close to home for their healthcare needs.”

During a procedure, the surgeon controls every motion of the robotic arms which can rotate and move in any direction, extending the range of the surgeon’s expert touch while still using laparoscopic techniques. Unlike standard laparoscopy, in which surgeons operate through small incisions and are limited in how much they can angle or turn their instruments, the da Vinci system allows an experienced surgeon to have more freedom of motion to perform an operation within a small space in the body.

The da Vinci surgical system can be used across a spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including general surgery, gynecology and urology, and has been optimized for multi-quadrant use in general surgery. By enhancing surgical capabilities, the da Vinci Robotic System helps improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care.

Cutline: Pictured from left to right: Tina McDonald, CRNA; Megan Walker, da Vinci representative; Stephen Harris, M.D.; Alan Bassin, M.D.; Ana Trevathan, RNFA,FNP-C; Raul Ramirez, CST; and Kimberley Youngblood, RN.

About CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial

CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial, part of a national nonprofit health system, provides more than a quarter of a million patient services and millions of dollars in local charity care and community support each year. With hospitals in Lufkin, Livingston and San Augustine, Memorial offers comprehensive, quality health care, including an off-campus emergency center and outpatient facilities and services. To learn more, visit CHIStLukesHealthMemorial.org.

About Memorial Clinics

Memorial Clinics, a division of the CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial system, employs and partners with 40 primary care providers and specialists in 19 locations across East Texas. Memorial Clinics accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. Visit memorialclinics.com to learn more about our physicians and connect with the personalized patient portal.

About CHI St. Luke’s Health CHI St. Luke’s Health, a member of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), is comprised of three markets―CHI St. Luke’s Health is home of the Texas Heart Institute (THI), eight hospitals, eight emergency centers, Diagnostic & Treatment Center, Radiation & CyberKnife Center, and several St. Luke’s Medical Group locations throughout Greater Houston; CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial (three hospitals in East Texas); and CHI St. Joseph Health (five hospitals and several St. Joseph Medical Group locations across Brazos Valley). In addition, CHI St. Luke’s is a part of a joint venture agreement with Baylor College of Medicine, which encompasses Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Texas Medical Center. Together, CHI St. Luke’s Health, THI, and Baylor College of Medicine are transforming healthcare delivery with a mission to usher in a new era of healthcare to create healthier communities. Learn more at CHIStLukesHealth.org.

About Catholic Health Initiatives

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) is one of the nation’s largest health systems. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, CHI operates in 19 states and comprises more than 100 hospitals, including four academic medical centers and teaching hospitals; 30 critical-access facilities; community health services organizations; accredited nursing colleges; home health agencies; and other services that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. Learn more at catholichealthinitiatives.com.


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