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PBMC doctor performs first surgery using ground-breaking instruments


Dr. Agostino Cervone of Peconic Bay Medical Center jokes that he can tell what kind of surgery a person has had based on the size and location of a scar. In a few years, though, that will become harder to do thanks to the enhancements of laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. Cervone, president of PBMC’s medical staff and the director of general robotic surgery there, is the first doctor in the U.S. to perform umbilical hernia repair using percutaneous laparoscopic instrumentations, a procedure he performed earlier this month, according to the hospital.

What makes this surgery particularly ground-breaking is the use of new instruments created by Teleflex Incorporated. The company’s Percuvance product was designed to allow a surgeon to operate without inserting a trocar — a surgical instrument enclosed in a tube.

“The whole goal is to stay minimally invasive and in doing so it gets rid of complications from larger incisions,” Dr. Cervone said.

While laparoscopic surgery is already less invasive than traditional surgical approaches, the Percuvance technique enhances the process through the use of smaller tools and interchangeable features, according to PBMC.

These new tools are just 3 millimeters wide, compared to the normal 5 to 8 millimeters, and leave patients with a scar that is barely noticeable.

“The end result is like a freckle instead of a scar,” Dr. Cervone said.

A smaller incision usually means less pain and a quicker recovery for the patient as well, Dr. Cervone said.

Janet Bartra, the patient who received the umbilical hernia surgery, expressed her gratitude in a press release sent out by PBMC.

“I’m only a week post-op and feel great, “ she said. “I even exercised two days after being discharged and don’t have any pain.”

Dr. Cervone said this technique can also be applied to gallbladder surgery or appendix removal and added that 3 millimeter instruments have not been previously available in the U.S. Now that PBMC has access to this new technology, he said, he plans to use it more and hopes other doctors will also take advantage of it.

“I’m always looking for innovations,” he said. “I need something to keep me excited.”

Dr. Cervone also said that although the Percuvance technique is something new for doctors here, no additional training is needed to use it successfully.

“Using Percuvance allowed me to operate with no additional training yet provided less trauma and a faster recovery time for my patient,” he said in the release.

Dr. Cervone, a practicing surgeon for 17 years who’s been on staff at PBMC since 1999, said he loves the work he does.

“I love patient interactions and love seeing patients in the community,” he said during an interview.

Photo caption: Dr. Agostino Cervone (courtesy photo)

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