PADUCAH – Lourdes Hospital has added the service of general surgery assisted by the da Vinci X Surgical System. Lourdes is the first in the region to offer robot-assisted general surgery.

The da Vinci has several unique features designed to provide benefits and efficiency in the operating room for patients and physicians. The system is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer a minimally invasive option for surgery. Not only does it decrease hospital stay and recovery time, but it boosts patient and physician satisfaction. Mercy Health -Lourdes Hospital is home to the region’s most advanced version of the da Vinci Surgical System, the generation X model.

“The technological advancements provided by the da Vinci system allow surgeons to operate with unparalleled precision, dexterity and control that enable a minimally invasive approach for many general surgery procedures,” said Mercy Health general surgeon Alice Higdon Wilham, D.O. “Reduced pain following surgery is a great benefit to patients and lessens the needs for pain medication.”

Higdon Wilham, who practices at Mercy Health – Paducah General Surgery, performed Lourdes Hospital’s first robotics general surgery case at the end of 2018. She has since performed more than 30 robotic general surgeries, from cholecystectomies to hernia repairs. Having recently completed a training program, Higdon Wilham will begin this month performing single-site cholecystectomies, where the gallbladder is removed from one small incision in the belly button.

“We began by performing hysterectomies with our da Vinci robot,” said Michael Yungmann, CEO, Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital. “We have since expanded our robotic surgery offerings to include everything from urology to hernia repair. Thanks to the leadership and expertise of Dr. Higdon Wilham, we’re the only hospital in the region performing general surgeries with the da Vinci Surgical System.”

Higdon Wilham is a graduate of both Graves County High School and the University of Mississippi and earned her medical degree from the University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Surgeons, the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.  

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