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Clinical Specialties - Robotic Surgery

Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons and Procedures

Surgeons with experience in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver are known as specialists in upper GI (gastrointestinal) surgery and have expertise in procedures involving the stomach, small intestine, pancreas and liver.  Surgeons who specialise in lower GI procedures involving the colon and rectum are known as colorectal surgeons.

Your digestive tract converts food into energy and nutrients to fuel your body. The digestive tract or system is made up of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and gastrointestinal tract (GI tract – oesophagus, stomach and intestines). If a condition in your digestive tract is affecting your health and quality of life, and lifestyle changes, medicine or other treatments do not ease your symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Surgical options may include open surgery (through a large incision) or minimally invasive surgery (through a few small incisions). Minimally invasive surgery can be done using traditional laparoscopy or robotic-assisted da Vinci surgery.

Sydney Adventist Hospital now provides robotic surgery at no extra cost. It has negotiated a zero cost on the consumables (disposable surgical attachments) required during da Vinci robotic surgery. Depending on your health fund, this can amount to anything from $1,500 to $3,500 in savings. By eliminating this cost, you can make a decision about what type of surgery is best for you based solely on preference and patient outcomes. Finally…robotic surgery on a level playing field.


Our Upper Gastrointestinal robotic surgeons

The new da Vinci robotic program on offer at Sydney Adventist Hospital has a growing number of robotically-trained surgeons capable of performing procedures using this approach. The San is very proud of its robotic surgical team, featuring some of the most highly regarded robotic surgeons across a range of specialised fields, all of whom have extensive training on the da Vinci system.

Our robotic upper gastrointestinal surgeons include:


Gastrointestinal robotic procedures performed at the San

Minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed through small incisions, using small tubes, tiny cameras and surgical instruments, often made some distance from their location. Robotic surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery, and has been gaining favour over traditional open surgery due to the following benefits as detailed in published clinical journals and referenced in attached patient information brochures:

  • Faster patient recovery
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss and scarring
  • Lower risk of infection


Below is a list of robotic upper GI procedures performed at the San. Click on the headings for more information, including da Vinci patient information brochures about the procedures and the risks associated with robotic surgery.

Distal Pancreatectomy

A distal pancreatectomy is a procedure that removes a tumour from the body or tail of your pancreas.  Your pancreas is located in the back of  your abdomen behind your stomach and just above your small instestine.  It makes hormones called insulin and glucagon which help to regulate your blood sugar levels.  Your pancreas also makes enzymes that help to digest fat. 

For more information on da Vinci robotic pancreatic surgery click here.

Whipple Procedure

A Whipple procedure — also known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy — is a complex operation to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the gallbladder and the bile duct.

The Whipple procedure is used to treat tumours and other disorders of the pancreas, intestine and bile duct. It is the most often used surgery to treat pancreatic cancer that's confined to the head of the pancreas. After performing the Whipple procedure, your surgeon reconnects the remaining organs to allow you to digest food normally after surgery.

The Whipple procedure is a difficult and demanding operation and can have serious risks. However this surgery is often life-saving, particularly for people with cancer. People suffering from Whipples can be treated using minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci robotic surgery.

For more information about da Vinci robotic surgery, please click here.

Liver Surgery

In most cases, liver surgery is required to remove a cancerous tumour.  It can be challenging surgery because a number of the important blood vessels leading to and from the heart pass by this organ.  This is where the skill of the surgeon and the use of minimally invasive techniques, including da Vinci robotic surgery, can reduce the risk of complications.

Fore more information about da Vinci surgery, please click here.

Biliary Surgery

Biliary Surgery is an operation of the bile duct, which connects the liver to the gastrointestinal tract.  The bile duct transports bile, which helps dissolve lipids in our diet so they can be absorbed by the body.  If the flow of bile from the liver is disrupted by the likes of a gallstone or tumour, you may need biliary surgery.

Biliary surgery can be performed using the da Vinci surgical system, please click here for more information.

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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services