Bariatric surgeon Brian Walkowski, MD, along with a highly trained surgical staff, used the four-armed da Vinci Xi robotic system to complete IRMC’s first sleeve gastrectomy on Tuesday, March 29. While this marked the first robotic-assisted bariatric surgery at IRMC, Dr. Walkowski performed over 150 bariatric procedures during his fellowship at Brown University in Providence, RI.
“At IRMC, quality and outcomes in surgery are top priority,” said Dan Clark, MD, Director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery. “The use of the robot in bariatric surgery has the potential to drastically improve results and quality of life for the patient. We are fortunate to have Dr. Walkowski’s bariatric surgical expertise in our community.”
In addition to the sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve, Dr. Walkowski offers gastric bypass surgery (roux-enY gastric bypass or RYGB). Benefits of each include improvements, and sometimes even complete resolution, of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, migraines, depression, heart disease, asthma and more.
Since its inception in the fall of 2021, IRMC’s Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery Institute has enrolled numerous patients in the program. Patients who wish to undergo bariatric surgery must first go through a rigorous process and meet certain criteria, the road to surgery typically takes a half-year. “IRMC is committed to bettering the health of our community and the Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery Institute is a testament to that commitment. Bariatric surgery is performed safely every day across the United States, and in conjunction with the rest of our weight management staff, am proud to be able to offer it here,” said Walkowski.
Hayley Robson, RN, Program Coordinator, noted “It’s been rewarding to see patients come through our office over the past six months and help them throughout their journey. I’m eager to watch them continue to progress with their lifestyle changes.”
“We are truly thrilled to be a leader in robotic surgery and are excited to add bariatrics to the list of what we can offer patients at IRMC. We understand the importance of bringing care closer to home so people don’t need to travel, and IRMC will continue to bring specialty care and state-of-the-art technology to our patients,” stated Steve Wolfe, IRMC President & CEO.