LSC debuts live robotic surgery sessions through HUMC partnership

LSC News

Our "Live From Surgery" program just got bigger and more technologically advanced.

Thanks to a new partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), we are now presenting robotic surgery sessions to high school students across the region.

Several times during the school year, Dr. Michael Stifelman, the director of robotic surgery and chair of urology at HUMC, will invite students at the Science Center to peer into his operating room and watch live surgeries performed via cutting-edge robotic equipment.

Our award-winning “Live From Surgery” program, launched in 1998, allows students the unique opportunity to view live procedures and interact with the medical experts. We are thrilled to now add robotic surgery to our regular session offerings, which also include cardiac/valve surgery, kidney transplants, and neurosurgery.

Students get to view and hold the equipment being used on-screen during the surgery

When it comes to robotic surgery, HUMC is certainly the ideal place to partner with. HUMC recently added the da Vinci Xi robot, the next frontier for minimally invasive surgery. The urology department performs more than 650 robotic procedures each year and have performed more than 5,000 robotic procedures in the past decade.

On Oct. 18, we kicked off our new partnership by inviting students from Lacordaire Academy in Montclair and Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School, William L. Dickinson High School, and Henry Snyder High School in Jersey City to watch as Dr. Stifelman and his team performed a partial nephrectomy where a tumor was removed from a kidney.

LSC CEO and President Paul Hoffman (right) introduces the robotics session

The students watched with enthusiasm and curiosity in our Interactive Theater as the medical team used robotic tools such as a bipolar transistor, needle driver, and grasper on the patient. LSC STEM Educators passed those exact tools around the room during the course of the surgery.

Many great questions were asked during the procedure, such as “Why doesn’t blood gush out of the patient during an incision, like in movies and TV?” (Answer: Hollywood over-dramatizes operating rooms, and there aren’t gushes of blood when a doctor only makes an incision through skin).

LSC CEO and President Paul Hoffman attended the inaugural session (third from right), alongside LSC Honorary Chair Emeritus and Live From Surgery founder Dr. William Tansey; LSC Advisory Trustee and Director of Community Engagement, Dept. of Population Health Dr. Balpreet K. Grewal-Virk; Hackensack Meridian Health Co-Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrett; LSC supporter Millie Williams; LSC Co-Chair and Managing Trustee Josh Weston; and President of Hackensack University Hospital Dr. Ihor Sawczuk.

Jersey City District Science Supervisor Manisha Shah, also in attendance, spoke about the importance of exposing students to practical applications of medical careers.

“The ‘Live From Surgery’ program helps students answer questions like, ‘What would happen if I were to pursue a medical career?’ ‘What kind of life would I lead?’ Shah said. “I believe in learning by exposure, and the students are not typically exposed to this.”

Click here to learn more about our Live From Surgery program and the different offerings throughout the 2017-18 school year.

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