First robotic Whipple procedure performed at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital

Press release from HCA Florida North Florida Hospital

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – HCA Florida North Florida Hospital announced today that the hospital’s first robotic Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) was performed by surgical oncologist Dr. Francisco Macedo. This groundbreaking procedure offers a minimally invasive surgical option for those with select gastrointestinal malignancies, such as pancreatic cancer. This robotic approach is only performed at select centers in the nation due to the clinical complexity of a Whipple procedure.

“My priority as a surgical oncologist is always the patient – to maximize the chance for a cure, to remove the cancer and prioritize their quality of life,” said Dr. Francisco Macedo, surgical oncologist at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital. “Being able to perform this complex procedure robotically means a shorter hospital stay for the patient, less pain, and quicker recovery time, all while maintaining a high-quality oncological outcome. This is truly allowing us to provide healthier tomorrows for our community.”

The Whipple procedure is a major surgical operation that involves the removal of the head of the pancreas along with the gallbladder, the bile duct, and a portion of the duodenum. The procedure typically requires a midline incision, which creates a more difficult recovery for patients along with the opportunity for potential wound complications and increased pain. With the robotic approach, small incisions are made, thereby reducing the overall chance for post-surgical complications and increasing patient satisfaction and quality of life. The robotic approach also allows for more precise movements and improved surgical agility, ensuring high-quality clinical outcomes for our cancer patients.

“We are tremendously grateful to have a robust surgical oncology program here at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital, and our entire team is committed to pushing the envelope to offer breakthrough surgical approaches and treatment options for patients in our community,” said Dr. Macedo. “Offering this new procedure here at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital is a game-changer for our patients, who previously would have to travel to other areas of the state for such advanced care.”

“All of us at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital would like to congratulate Dr. Macedo and our surgical team on this momentous milestone for our surgical oncology program,” said Dr. Sherrie Somers, chief medical officer at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital. “It is truly something to celebrate, to be able to offer such an incredible chance for cure for our oncology patients by bringing industry-leading surgical and technological advancement to them right here in north central Florida.”

Patients are evaluated on a case-by-case basis for eligibility for the robotic approach for the Whipple procedure. HCA Florida North Florida Hospital is considered a high-volume center of excellence for pancreatic cancer, receiving the Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award for the Gastrointestinal Care and Gastrointestinal Surgery specialties for the past three years. To learn more about our surgical oncology services or to schedule an appointment with a specialist, visit HCAFloridaHealthcare.com.

  • If they can’t be trusted to correctly sterilize surgical instruments then how are they going to do it for this machine?

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