Tag Archives: state-of-the-art

da Vinci Robotic Surgery

Door County Medical Center is one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in the nation. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

There are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #1 is da Vinci Robotic Surgery.

The da Vinci Surgical System is an advanced, robotic computer that uses 3-D technologies to assist your surgeon with an operation. It has been safely utilized by skilled surgeons since 2000, but not every hospital offers this state of the art technology. Earlier this year, Door County Medical hired Dr. St. Jean, whose practice includes all aspects of Minimally Invasive Surgery, endoscopy and robotic surgery. He brings years of experience with advanced robotic surgery to DCMC.

da Vinci Surgical System

“It’s the latest in advance robotic-assisted surgery and in minimally invasive procedures,” says Dr. St. Jean, “The da Vinci Xi makes it possible for surgeons to perform complex operations through small incisions—operations, which would otherwise require large incisions and long recuperation times.” The first “baptismal patient” to utilize daVinci assisted surgery for colon resection was home in two days, “I hate to jinx it, but it went very well,” says Dr. St. Jean.

da Vinci Surgical SystemThe robot’s mechanical wrists bend and rotate inside your body more effectively than a human wrist, resulting in a less invasive surgery. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic-assisted arms, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. The 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.

Additionally, Dr. St. Jean points out that robotic-assisted surgery results in “decreased post-op pain. It gets the patient back to normal faster. Now that DCMC has one of these machines, Door County residents won’t have to travel to a major city for one of these procedures—we’re bringing the technological forefront to Door County.”

Soon, nearly all DCMC surgeons will be proficient in utilizing da Vinci technology. Dr. St. Jean is currently proctoring Dr. Scheer and Dr. Melarvie and works together with Intuitive Surgical representatives on their training. DCMC surgeons also receive additional training from the company off site through a standard curriculum.

Door County Medical Center is committed to continually bringing the most advanced technology to our community, but we never lose sight of the human connection that makes our hospital special. That’s why we are also committed to maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 99th percentile, as we have, year after year.

Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060

Introducing The Heartburn & Reflux Center at DCMC

Door County Medical Center is one of the top critical access hospitals in the nation. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

DCMC Heartburn and Reflux CenterThere are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #2 is our Heartburn and Reflux Center.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a common disease impacting 40% of Americans that can lead to serious health consequences if it is not detected early. Heartburn (acid reflux) occurs when stomach contents backup, or reflux, into the esophagus. Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation that may radiate to the neck, throat, or along your jawline. If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD.

“Things like a chronic sore throat, persistent cough or hoarse voice are things that can occur from irritation of the gastric refluxate coming into the upper airway. One important alarm symptom is dysphasia which is trouble swallowing or food getting stuck, especially if it’s down in the lower chest. That has to be evaluated fairly quickly,” says Dr. Shaun J. Melarvie, M.D., F.A.C.S., “A dentist will sometimes find erosions of the enamel when they’re looking at teeth and will refer their patient back to the primary care provider for evaluation of reflux disease. I see that fairly commonly in my practice here at Door County Medical Center.”

Additional GERD Symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Chest Pain
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Regurgitation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Sensitive to some foods & liquids

Patients suffering from acid reflux can now benefit from state of the art diagnosis using the Bravo™ reflux testing system, which is an advanced technology that can help identify the cause of your symptoms. Bravo™ monitors acid content in your esophagus while you continue your regular daily activities and diet. The testing process is comfortable, and the results can help your doctor better understand your symptoms and make confident decisions about your treatment plan.

If your chronic acid reflux cannot be managed by medication or lifestyle changes, Door County Medical Center offers advanced treatment of heartburn with incisionless same-day surgery (TIF) and LINX, a small implant that can support acid suppression therapy.

“One of the newer technologies is called transoral incisionless fundoplication, also known as TIF. It’s a procedure that allows us to do a recreation of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to help people that are suffering from acid reflux and can’t control their symptoms adequately with medications. What is so nice about the procedure is we can do this operation in less than an hour and with no incisions whatsoever. Many patients come off of their acid reflux medications altogether and stay off of them long term,” explains Kurtis D. Scheer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

The other advanced procedure available at DCMC’s Heartburn and Reflux Center is the LINX® Reflux Management System. It is a “bracelet” made of magnetic titanium beads implanted at the base of the esophagus to reinforce the weakened muscle that allows acid to splash back up. The device is implanted using a standard minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. LINX is indicated for those patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy.

“Thus far there have been good patient satisfaction scores with the results obtained for both the LINX® and TIF procedures. It is always important to consult with your doctor to find out which procedure is appropriate for you,” says Dr. Melarvie.

Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060

Telestroke Robot Transforms Care for Rural Patients

Door County Medical Center is one of the top critical access hospitals in Wisconsin. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

High Tech Reason #3: Telestroke RobotThere are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #3 is our Telestroke Robot. Yes, a Telestroke Robot.

Telestroke is telemedicine technology that connects stroke patients and their on-site emergency department physicians with board-certified neurologists, allowing for quicker diagnosis and treatment of stroke.Through live audio and video telecommunication, Telestroke allows a neurologist to be at a patient’s bedside within minutes of the patient arriving at the emergency department.

“When someone is having a stroke, every minute that passes before they receive appropriate medical care can impact their quality of life,” says Sandy Vandertie, Director of Emergency Services at DCMC. “This advanced technology connects the patient with a neurologist within minutes, improving outcomes and reducing the long-term impact of a stroke.”

Nearly 800,000 people have strokes in the U.S. each year, and most of those patients are experiencing stroke for the first time. During a stroke, an estimated two million brain cells die each minute meaning that the faster the response time, the better a stroke can be evaluated and treated, reducing or eliminating long-term disability and brain function loss.

Vanderite explains that after a patient arrives with stroke symptoms, the DCMC team begins a 60 minute gold standard process which they refer to as Code Stroke. “We bring a team of people that come together to manage you, including the neurologist via telestroke robot. The highest priority intervention to have done is a brain scan or CT scan. If we currently have someone in the CAT scanner, we prioritize the stroke patient. The goal is for us to have you in the CAT scanner within 25 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Next, a radiologist, coupled with our neurologist, both evaluate your CT scan. Within 45 minutes of your arrival here, a decision is made whether or not to put in an order for brain saving medicine.”

Living in a rural community should never exclude you from having the most advanced medical treatment possible. Our Telestroke technology empowers Door County Medical Center staff to improve patient care by offering state of the art medical services, right here in Door County.

State-of-the-Art Technology, Close to Home – Advanced Detection Methods

Door County Medical Center is one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in Wisconsin. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

High Tech Reason #4: Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

There are 4 big ways, Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #4 is our advanced detection methods.

At Door County Medical Center, we provide up close and advanced detection methods rarely offered in rural communities. With 3-D Mammography, MRI and CT scanning, we get the clearest possible internal images. This helps us detect irregularities early on, drastically improving your chances of recovery. Advanced detection is second only to prevention.

3-D Mammography imaging is a type of digital mammography that, instead of taking a flat 2D image of breast tissue, creates a 3D image from a composite formed of image layers. 3D mammography has been shown to detect 41% more invasive breast cancers, on average. As a result, there are fewer cancers missed and less invasive treatments. One common way to describe the process is to compare the 3D image to the pages of a book, allowing doctors to examine breast tissue layer by layer.

“I am incredibly excited that we have this technology,” says DCMC’s Diagnostic Imaging Director, Amanda Feldbruegge, “Because of the greater detail that 3D mammography provides, the early detection rate is far higher. So, we are going to be able to detect cancers much sooner, and at a much smaller size. As a result, doctors will be able to start treatment sooner—we can catch the disease at stage 1 rather than at stage 3 or 4.”

Even though it has been estimated that a woman born in the United States today has a 1 in 8 chance of developing some form of breast cancer during their lifetime, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100% when breast cancer is detected early.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the latest in cutting-edge technology, helping doctors diagnose and care for patients with needs including oncology, injuries and vascular issues. DCMC invested in a more comfortable and inclusive scanner in March 2017.

“Our MRI scanner is larger and more easily tolerated by claustrophobic patients,” says Donald Renfrew, radiologist at DCMC. “In addition, the new machine has improved the quality of the images. These improvements allow more confident diagnosis leading to better patient care.”

Patients agree that the combination of high-tech and personalized care make their experience stand out. “The new machine is less noisy than I had experienced in the past. It was very comfortable and I didn’t feel so confined. The technicians are always very nice, and that makes all the difference,” says patient Caroline Link.

CT Scanning technology uses 640 visual slices to provide the clearest possible images for doctors to diagnose patients by generating images that can be turned into three-dimensional pictures. Door County Medical Center was the third hospital in the United States to adopt the CT scan technology that reduces streaks from implanted metal such as rods and pacemakers. This enables doctors to diagnose patients with a variety of symptoms such as headache, chest pain and abdominal pain.

“This top-of-the-line scanner is both quicker and more comfortable for the patient, and reduces the radiation dose to the patient as well,” says Amanda Feldbruegge.

One of the unique abilities of the scanner is to eliminate the appearance of metal implants, such as artificial joints, on a scan. “It used to be difficult to obtain images from patients with everything from tooth fillings to hip replacements because the metal caused streaks on the images,” explains Feldbruegge. “This new technology allows us to see everything clearly.”

At Door County Medical Center, our patients experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing the best possible early detection technology is available so close to home. “The combination of leading edge technology and compassionate care helps us provide the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Feldbruegge.

It’s never too early to take a look at your health: schedule an appointment today!