Rose Medical Center Performs Colorado’s First Robotic Colorectal Surgery

Dr. David Longcope with Rose Medical Center is the first board-certified colorectal surgeon in Colorado to perform a robotic surgery case with the da Vinci Surgical System. Dr.  Longcope performed his first robotic case on April 23. 

Dr. David Longcope

Longcope will use the robotic surgery system to treat a number of colorectal conditions, including diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and rectal cancer. His main robotic procedure will be the lower anterior resection for rectal cancer, particularly when the rectal cancer is located lower in the pelvis and expertise could mean the difference between sphincter preservation and permanent colostomy. 

“Using the robotic surgery system gives me the ability to work in smaller spaces with greater dexterity and articulation, which is beneficial in many colorectal cases because of the limited working space in the pelvis,” said Longcope. “Previously, some cases needed to be converted to an open approach because of this difficulty, so this provides a new way to complete those cases laparoscopically, which is a benefit to patients because they will have a quicker recovery and less overall pain.” 

Robotic Surgical System

Benefits of robotic surgery can include shorter hospital stays, less blood loss and smaller incisions. For colorectal cases, additional benefits can include quick return to bowel function and faster return to diet.

“Dr. Longcope is one of the leading colorectal surgeons in Colorado, so we are pleased to support him in this new surgical technique,” said Betsy Hunsicker, Chief Operating Officer at Rose Medical Center. “Patients will benefit from Dr. Longcopes experience, and the robotic surgery option will provide a new minimally invasive alternative to what have historically been fairly invasive procedures.”    

Other surgeons at Rose also perform robotic surgery for gynecologic, urologic, gynecologic oncology, infertility and general surgery cases. More than 15 surgeons at Rose use the robotic surgery system. 

Since the robotic program began in 2007, Rose has looked for effective ways to expand the program and better serve the needs of patients. Rose has a Robotic Steering Committee that meets regularly to evaluate the program, review quality data and explore new robotic procedures.

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