Doctor honored with 1,000 robotic procedure

For the last five years, Dr. Kevin Lynch who is the general surgeon at Odessa Regional Medical Center has been performing robotic surgeries on patients.

The surgeon recently reached a milestone with his 1,000th robotic procedure which took place in late May.

A small celebration was held to recognize his accomplishment Monday at the ORMC East Campus Auditorium.

“We were actually on pace to do it in four years but then COVID slowed us down a bit,” Lynch said. “We got here in five years. It’s basically the latest in technology in minimally-invasive surgery.

Robotic surgery enables surgeons to perform complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

The smaller incisions provide faster healing and little to no scarring for the patient.

“It provides for less pain after surgery and a quicker recovery,” Lynch said. “It gives us a little better image details. It’s a 3D image that we’re actually looking at. With the robot, you’re allowed to have wrists so it really is like having a small hand inside. It really helps facilitate a lot of things that were much more difficult than before.”

Lynch has been a general surgeon at ORMC for over 20 years. He specializes in a wide range of surgical procedures including gallbladder removal, hernia repair, colon cancer, breast cancer, benign disease and more.

Lynch says the technology used in the procedures is advancing every day. He performs robotic procedures using ORMC’s latest frontier in minimally invasive surgery which is the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

The technology puts a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a robotic platform and can be used across the spectrum for minimally invasive procedures which include multi-quadrant surgeries in areas of gynecology, cardiac, general surgery, thoracic and urology.

Earlier this year, ORMC purchased its second of the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

According to ORMC, the cost of the system was about $450,000.

“The latest edition here is what is called the Xi and we have two of those machines now,” Lynch said. “What that does, they act as extensions of the surgeon. Some people think that we push a button and program what surgery is going to be done and that’s not it at all. What it does is the robot holds the instruments and then, the movements mimic my motions and so I still perform the surgery.”

Director of perioperative services at ORMC Renata Leonard said it is very fortunate for the medical center to have the technology available to work on robotic surgeries.

“They are very advance,” Leonard said. “We had our first one for a couple of years and we got this second one a couple of months ago because we have more surgeons who now want to do their work with the da Vinci Xi.”